Western Air Express (Western Airlines) was incorporated July 13, 1925. Major Corliss C. Moseley and Harris "Pop" Hanshue were instrumental in interesting local businessmen and organizations in a regular scheduled airline between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, Utah. Carrying mail was the primary purpose of the line and a U.S. Air Mail contract was secured for the mail route between the two cities. Major Moseley was an experienced Air Service officer and was responsible for the formation of the California Air National Guard unit, which was operating from Clover Field in Santa Monica. He also formed the Air Service reserve unit at Clover Field. Harris Hanshue was a businessman formerly engaged in the automobile business in Los Angeles. When the company was incorporated Hanshue was president, Moseley was vice president, James G. Wooley was vice president and traffic manager, and H.M. Wright was secretary-Treasurer. The Board of Directors included Hanshue, Moseley, and Wooley, as well as James A. Talbot, president of Richfield Oil Company and Harry Chandler, Los Angeles Times publisher. Vail Field near Montebello, California was leased as a base of operations. Five Douglas M-2 airplanes were purchased being specially fitted for mail transportation and the first flights were made on April 17, 1926. One flight was made from Los Angeles and another made from Salt Lake City. On May 23, 1926, the first two passengers were carried, Mr. Ben Redman and Mr. J.A. Tomlinson. Mail having priority, passengers were taken only when the volume of mail allowed it. In May 1928, a Western Air Express purchased three Fokker F-10 tri-motor airplanes and an airline route between Los Angeles and San Francisco was established. In late 1929, Vail Field was vacated and all operations were moved to Alhambra Airport. As more passengers requested passage larger airplanes were placed in service and Western Air Express became a passenger airline. In August 1929, the passenger fares from Los Angeles were: to San Francisco $33; Tijuana $17.50; Las Vegas $30; Salt Lake City $60; Catalina Island $10; Kansas City $175.
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