The Route: Iowa City to North Platte

Pilots flying the mail cross-country in 1921 followed these directions to find landmarks along the way.

DH-4 mailplanes at Fort Crook airfield, Omaha, Nebraska, in the mid-1920s. (NASM (SI-89-12152))

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21.    Yutan—Directly on the course 1 mile west of the Platte River, 5 lines of railroads form a junction at this point.

33.    Wahoo—A fair-sized town 3 miles south of the course. Six railroads radiate from Wahoo. An excellent emergency landing field is located one-half mile south of Wahoo; a smooth barley field approximately 1 mile long and a quarter of a mile wide. By noting section lines and flying 25 miles west for each mile south, a direct course may be maintained.

59.    David City—A quarter of a mile north of the course. Six railroads radiate from this city also.

82.    Osceola—Four miles south of the course. The Union Pacific tracks almost parallel the course from David City to Osceola, where they turn to the southward. Osceola may be identified by a mile race track just south of the town.

96.    The Platte River is crossed again and runs southwestward. The Union Pacific Railroad is crossed just beyond the Platte River a half a mile north of the small town of Clarks. Twelve miles southwest is Central City on the Union Pacific Railroad. This city is 7 miles south of the course. Central City is directly east of North Platte. If the pilot passes directly over this city, the east-west section lines can be followed directly into North Platte. Thirty-five miles southwest of Clarks is Grand Island in a direct line with Central City. Grand Island is 20 miles south of the course. At Grand Island there is a commercial flying field where supplies of oil and gas may be purchased.

132. St. Paul, directly on the course.—Ten miles east of St. Paul one branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad runs directly west to St. Paul and lies on the course. Five railroads radiate out of St. Paul. The Middle Loup River is crossed 1 mile east of St. Paul.

161.    Loup City—Is 5 miles north of the course on the east bank of Middle Loup River, which is crossed almost due south of Loup City. The Union Pacific Railroad paralleling the river is crossed 1 mile east of the river.

176.     The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad tracks following a tiny stream are crossed. The railroad runs northwest-southeast at this point.

183.    Mason City—On the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad; is 2 miles north of the course.

216.    The Union Pacific Railroad, running northeast-southwest, is crossed midway between Lodi and Oconto; Lodi to the north and Oconto to the south. A small creek runs through Oconto which distinguishes it from Lodi.

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