Postal Inspector Finton T. McMahon

Postal Inspector Finton T. McMahon

United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Government

End of Watch Tuesday, August 1, 1939

Finton T. McMahon

Postal Inspector Finton McMahon fell to his death while conducting an internal criminal investigation in the Akron, Ohio, Post Office.

He was inside the lookout gallery, located 20 feet above the workroom floor, and had just begun to climb down a steel ladder when he lost his footing and fell down the ladder well, suffering a fatal head injury.

Post offices are constructed with enclosed observation catwalks that are used to conduct surveillance when theft is suspected. Known as lookout galleries, these catwalks are very dark and cramped, and often span several floors via straight shafts equipped with ladders. Inspector McMahan was conducting a criminal investigation and using one of these galleries, located 20 feet above the workroom floor, and had just begun to climb down a steel ladder when he lost his footing and fell down the ladder well, suffering a fatal head injury.

Inspector McMahon had served with the United States Postal Service for nine years. He was survived by his wife and four children.

Bio

  • Age 37
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Fall
  • Location Ohio

surveillance

Most Recent Reflection

View all 8 Reflections

Inspector McMahon- I never knew you, but inherited your assignment as an SD - “Service Depredation” Inspector domiciled at the Akron, OH Main Post Office in February 1970, thirty years after your unfortunate and unnecessary death.
The galleries were death traps in my opinion. They were cramped, dirty, and dangerous. I still bear a scar on my forehead from hitting a low hanging cement wall while trying to promptly move through a main tunnel. The hanging “tell tales” didn’t give me quite enough warning. Needless to say the blow felt like a baseball bat and put me out seeing stars for a fair amount of time! I’m sure I suffered a concussion that night, but I was working alone as was standard and ultimately shook it off. You were a brave man doing your duty that day and I truly appreciate the hazards to which you exposed yourself. At that time there was no viable way to catch thieves in the act without watching them handle “test” letters. Everything then was “low tech”. Surprisingly, I was never told of your death. To my knowledge nothing ever changed. I respect and honor you for what you did and consider you as a brother in arms.!
Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice!

Edward W. Reda
U. S. Postal Inpector - Ret. Team Leader

January 15, 2018

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