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Archives on the Air 306: Wyoming Air Service – Richard Leferink Scrapbook

Man standing in front of an airplane.
American Heritage Center
Image 1: Photo of Richard Leferink next to a propeller plane, 1928. Box 1, Richard Leferink scrapbook, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

In 1918, Richard Leferink began his career as a pilot in the military. After being decommissioned from the army he spent several years conducting barnstorming exhibitions. He traveled across 41 states, Canada and Mexico, where he was the first pilot to succeed in crossing the country, ocean to ocean.

Leferink went on to found Wyoming Air Service, headquartered in Casper, in 1931. To encourage hesitant flyers, he offered short 15-minute flights. The cost of the flight was a reasonable two cents per pound of passenger’s weight.

Soon his small company grew. Wyoming Air Service began flying to Montana, Nebraska, Colorado and the Dakotas. By 1941, the airline was one of seventeen operating nationwide. Two of his hundred employees were the first female ground to air radio operators in the U.S..

Pour through the pages of Richard Leferink’s scrapbook at UW’s American Heritage Center to learn more about the flights that crossed the state in the 1930s.