As historians know, Mansfield has a connection to the early days of aviation, primarily in the person of Frank Lahm, the “nation’s first military aviator.”
Lahm worked alongside the Wright Brothers not long after their December 1903 initial flight to create and perfect the country’s first military-related airplanes. Lahm’s career is storied, and can be read in detail on this Wikipedia page.
Flying was still somewhat of novelty in the first 20 years of the 20th century, becoming increasingly safer and able to undertake longer flights and with more people aboard. Once such improvement came in the form of transporting cargo on airplanes, beginning with airmail. More…