It was in November 1919 when Cebu received its very
first airmail. It is said to have also been the first plane to have landed
in Cebu, at three-seater civilian variant of the Curtiss flying boat
called the Sea Gull.
Renowned American aviators Maj. Joseph E.H. Stevenot
and Alfred J. croft had set out to fly another first in Philippine
aviation history and proven the feasibility of mail throughout the
archipelago by airplane.
After a 24-hour delay, they took off from Manila on
November 25, 1919 and headed south with a bag of mail destined for Cebu
and Iloilo. They stopped for refuelling first in Mindoro and then in Capiz.
They had to hail fishermen to row them ashore and haul their fuel to the
plane in bancas.
From Capiz, the plane then left for Cebu and
reportedly touched water a little more than two hours later. It took
Stevenot and Croft six hours and 23 minutes of flying time to get to Cebu.
They were met at the dock by a large crowd among
whom were high-ranking officials of the Cebu Chamber of Commerc. After
changing from rain-soaked flying attires to dry ones, Stevenot and Croft
then ceremonially delivered the mail to the local postmaster, some which
were addressed to Osmeña and American colonial Governor-General Francis
Harrison. The letter envelopes bore the cachet: Inter-island Aerial
The aviators later attended a reception hosted by
the Chamber. The following day, they took the Chamber's three top
officials for test rides over the city.