JN-3 Art + LATEST NEWS & POSTS+ U-2 smaller in-line(Click on a headline below to open its story – See more news stories below Westacott 2 Jennys Painting)

RAID DAY 2017 – – – Rebirth of U.S. Civil Aviation Celebrated

A 1st!   Top Leadership Award Goes to Female Fighter Pilot

25,000′ fall – without a chute – Think it’s an aviation event?

A pilot’s Joke with a few late arriving photos and video clips

Sooo – You Thought You Knew All About the P-51 Mustang?

This Year Marks the 25th Anniversary of EAA’s Young Eagles



FASF Members Help Celebrate Pearl Harbor Memorial Event

Challenging Approach to Landing at London City Airport

Take a Guided Flight Aboard Donald Trump’s Corporate Jet

Another CO of the First Aero Squadron on Advisory Board!


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Above is a slide show of Jennys and their brave pilots – from 1916 to the present

 – – Put cursor over image to see manual control to pause or change direction of slideshow – –

CradleOfAmericanAirpower-2 JennysOverColumbusCropped“Cradle of American Air Power”

– – – Put your cursor over this painting and click to obtain a full sized view – – –

Painted by internationally acclaimed aviation artist and FASF Advisor, Peter R. Westacott

Older News - Over Two Weeks Ago(Check Right Side Bar Menu – Under MORE TO SEE – for Complete Archived Other FASF News Stories)

See the New Column About Our Fascinating Members

UK Vintage Rally’s Aviators Freed by Ethiopian Authorities

Ron Alexander & FAA Official Killed in JN-4D N1662 Crash

Soviets Stole our Famed Super Fortress: Called it the TU-4

Former British Colony Gifted Spitfire Replica as Memorial

“Golden Peacock” Killed in Chinese Air Force Jet Team Crash

One of Aviation’s Greatest Just Flew into the Sunset . . .

Memoir of a Vietnam Mission with Triple Ace Robin Olds

BLUE ORIGIN: Achieves Safe Rocket + Crew Cap Recovery!

Lest We Forget: Vow of Frederic Arnold, WWII Fighter Pilot

Villezcas Find of old Mexican Jenny Photo Triggers FAS Story

US Flies Bombers Over South Korea Again in Show of Force

Fatal FAS Dragon Lady Crash Yesterday Near Beale AFB CA

Unique 4:52 Video & Sounds of WWII Airplanes Cranking Up

34 Homebuilt RV-6 Airplanes in Formation Over Oshkosh

“Mr. 747” – Joe Sutter Takes His Last Flight West at 95

1st U.S. Fighter to Exceed 400 MPH – The Indomitable P-38

Texan Air Show Ballet at Saturday’s EAA AirVenture 2016

Honestly – – – How much do you REALLY LOVE YOUR JOB?

World’s Largest Airshow at Oshkosh, WI, a Great Success!

Video Trailer of This Year’s UK FLYING LEGENDS AIRSHOW

Not Superman – Not a F-22 Doing Vertical Takeoff, but a . . ?

Trustee Brings Daughter on History Venture to Columbus

Former AF Pilot Members of the FASF Attend AF Graduation

Mind-Bending Video of How the Boeing 787 is Assembled

Air Force (FINALLY!) Declares F-35A Ready for Combat!

Military Discipline – Gunnery Sergeant as New Teacher

An Inexperienced Girl Attempts to Land the Giant A320

20 Years of Hard Work and the Super Fortress “Doc” Flies!

Centennial Event Success Breaks FASF Attendance Records!

Dr. Bouilly Finds Photo of JN4 with Member’s Kin in Cockpit!

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL – An Animated View from the Air

IWO JIMA – What Happened AFTER That Flag Was Raised?

The Hottest Blue Angels with WWII Prop Fighters – Not Jets!

HELP! Know What This Remarkable Jet Is?  Tell Us, If You Do

Witness a New Kind of Aerobatics at This Year’s AirVenture!

Ric Lambart & Alma Villezcas Pose by New FASF Office HQ

European Air Power Developed Before the Columbus Birth

Blue Angels & Thunderbirds Lose Their # 6 on Same Day

3 Jennies In Flight – Not Replicas, but Restored Aeroplanes!

It Took 9 Years – But FASF Now Holds All 1916 Airfield Titles!

1916 Airfield Survey Team Back at Work for Centennial

Congressman Pearce Helps Plan for Air Power Centennial

A Few Photos From FASF Advisor Gen. Cardenas’ Collection

Click Here to See Your Saturday Centennial Event Schedule




Curtis-Taylor Lands in Australia After 3 Months in PT-17


Mideast Conflict Changes FASF 2016 Centennial Planning


Bill Wallace & Maria Rangel Try Out New FASF T-Shirts

Brilliant New Movie – Cold War Story About the FAS’ U2


F-16 Crashes on Training Mission in N.M – Pilot Safely Ejects

Pakistani Female Fighter Pilot, Marium Mukhtiar, Killed

Your FASF Recruiters Do it Again at Local Antique Car Show



Will Rash of Exhibition Fatalities Bring an End to Air Shows?


The Powerful, Nostalgic – – – and Inspiring – P-51 Mustang


FASF Recruits New Members at Great American Duck Races



Near Century Old Film of Famous WWI Ace – The Red Baron

INSIDE (the cockpit) with Aerobatic Star Svetlana Kapanina

Almost Unbelievable Extreme Russian Fighter Aerobatics!

Blackbird’s Most Spectacular Flyover Was Also Its Slowest

Witness the Evolution of Britain’s Famed Heathrow Airport

Anne Marie Beck – CHS Founder Joins Board of Advisors

Fastest Ever Space Probe Blazes Past Pluto in Historic Flyby!

Jim Bede, famed Aircraft Designer Goes West on Last Flight

P-51C “Mustang” Cockpit View – From Take Off to Landing

FASF Photographer and Consultant Makes His Final Flight

ASF Member & Former First Aero CO Describes Its History

Trustees Have Lunch Meeting at FASF Member’s Pink Store

The Birth of American Air Power in Columbus: New Video

FASF Member, Brett Hahn, Now at EAA Headquarters in WI

FASF Officers Meet at EAA Chapter Hangar on Father’s Day

First Aero Squadron Presentation Made to Military Officers

Board Members Work with EAA to Plan Centennial Event

Long Planning Session to Prepare for FAS Centennial!

FASF VP Martín finds sign about FAS at Biggs Army Airfield!

Our Tribute to Bill Wehner – – – the Co-Founder of the FASF

Our Latest Newsletter, The Aerodrome, is now Posted

Back in Time: “The Giants” – Flying Boats – Then and Now

World’s First Air Show – – – 2015 Paris Air Show Opens

Bill Wehner, FASF Founder, Goes West

Watch this Rip-Snorting Air Show on Steroids – by Slocum

IN MEMORIAM – The Path of the American Warrior – a Video

See New Video of Amazing Bomber Mission during WWII

1st Female F-35 Fighter Pilot Climbs into the Wild Blue!

Hi-Tech F-35 “Lightning II” Stealth Fighter Has Engine Issues

Warbirds Fly Over Capitol on 70th Anniversary of VE Day!

End of WWII Memorial at Capitol Features Warbird Flyover

Scott Slocum Capture’s Mustang’s Beauty – Head on!

FASF’s Col. Cline & 113th NMSU Presidential Pass-in-Review

Out of WWII Aviation History Comes the Reborn Mosquito

Deming High School Faculty Meet with FASF Trustees

FASF Trustee Gives Presentation to Aviator Fraternity

Raid Day Memorial Number 99 is Held in Columbus

Camp Furlong Day Declared a Resounding Success

First Aero Squadron’s Record Setting SR-71 in Flight

Ric Visits Tom Wathen Center at Renowned California Flabob Airport



EAA Chapter 555 & War Eagles Museum Set Flight Record

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦


The Pancho Villa Raid—The First Aero Squadron Responds

By Founding President of the FASF – Gene Valdes

On March 9, 1916, the United States was invaded by forces under the command of the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa.  Villa and his troops attacked both civilians and the military outpost in the small border town of Columbus, New Mexico. Eighteen Americans were killed before the Villa rebels were turned back.

In response, President Woodrow Wilson ordered the American military, the so-called “Punitive Expedition,” to cross into Mexico to locate and destroy Villa and his fighting forces. Accompanying the US ground forces, which grew to almost 10,000 men, was a small detachment of US Army airplanes which were based at a landing field outside of Columbus. This deployment of the First Aero Squadron, flying Curtiss “Jenny” biplanes, was the first use of US Army (now Air Force) airplanes in a U.S. military campaign. Their Columbus-based operation was, in effect, the birth of what later became the United States Air Force – and, later with the development of rotary wing aircraft (helicopters), what is now known as the Army’s Aviation Branch.

Who We Are

In 2007, a group of aviation enthusiasts and other interested citizens met to discuss what might be done to protect the site of the original landing field and flight line where the First Aero Squadron was based in 1916/17. While the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was threatened by ever expanding residential and commercial development. It was even listed as one of most endangered historic sites in New Mexico.

By 2008 the group had formed the First Aero Squadron Foundation (FASF) with the mission of securing, preserving and restoring the historic Aerodrome. We are a New Mexico non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation:  Donations are tax deductible. We have a 9-member governing Board and an Advisory Board of national experts in military, history, civilian aviation and the arts. We have well over 200 members nationwide – and are growing by leaps and bounds. All our Board members are volunteers.

What We Have Done So Far

In 2009, the FASF purchased 60 acres of the historic site, comprising part of the original 1916 Aerodrome as well as the old Columbus Municipal Airport, itself steeped in history. Thanks to the dedication of the Board and our Friends, we own this land free and clear.  In 2012 we graded a 2,600 runway on the site of the original Columbus Municipal Airport east-west runway which had become overgrown with mesquite, cacti and other desert plants, making the field unusable by aircraft. In 2014, we acquired access to and an option to buy the 160 acre parcel to the east of the first 60-acre parcel, which we are now engaged in paying off – and we are already, thanks to our “Buy an Acre” campaign, more than half-way there. With both parcels under FASF control, the entire original landmarked historic site is now protected. We are no longer on anyone’s endangered list!

Future Plans

With the historic site secured, our next step is to build a Commemorative Monument to honor all the intrepid early airmen and their crews who pioneered the beginnings of American air power – and its lead in world civil aviation development. We will reconstruct the original 1916 Aerodrome and build a museum to house a representative selection of early World War I and pre-World War II aircraft.

Part of our mission is education. We hold presentations to inform the public—including future pilots and historians—of our early aviation beginnings in which the Columbus Aerodrome figured so prominently. We believe that it is important for everyone to know the important history of our nation’s Air Force that began in a tiny town in Southern New Mexico.

How You Can Become Involved

First, if you have never been to Columbus, please come visit. Anyone of our locally-based Board Members would be happy to give you a tour of the area and the property. Second, please consider joining FASF. We are a small but enthusiastic group and we would welcome your participation in our efforts to preserve an important piece of this country’s proud heritage. Please browse the rest of our website and click right here to see how you can join in our efforts.


Copyright 2015 © First Aero Squadron Foundation  – This website’s unique contents (except those already copyrighted by other cited sources), are usable only with permission of the FASF and the FASF must be clearly referenced as the used content’s source.

25 thoughts on “

  1. Kris Lethin-re site

    The site is much improved over what I originally published, hats off to Eric and Ric Lambart for
    all the work in putting this new site up. I would suggest the Jenny picture be used as a water
    mark or back ground for all the pages with a light blue to match the clouds in the theme. Kris

  2. Rebecca Reed


    I’m Rebecca Reed, and I just wanted to thank you for the really educational page you’ve created,https://firstaerosquadron.com/links.
    My daughter, Sally, is becoming very interested in airplanes: first, it was her grandpa’s pictures from WW2 (he was a bomber pilot),
    then it was flight simulation games, and now it’s RC planes! She is getting kind of obsessed!

    Naturally, as a mom and teacher, I try to turn every thing into a ‘teachable moment.’
    Planes are actually really great for this, from history to science: there is so much to learn.
    I really liked teaching her about the ninety-nines! Its great for her to know that it’s not just a man’s world!

    One other thing, I thought I would show you a page I also really liked for educational purposes:
    It’s a brief timeline about the history of flight, looking at a series of ‘firsts’.
    Sally loved it, and I thought your other readers might like it to, so it would fit right in on your page!

    Let me know if you get a chance to link to that page, I would love to know I had a little impact on your site!

    And once again, thanks for the help!

    Rebecca Reed

  3. Len Zgonina

    Interesting and informative website. I’d suggest that you include pictures of FASF Advisory Board members similar to the way you presented photos of the Trustees. Site is very easy to navigate.

  4. Eddie Glover

    This new site is considerably better than the old site. Like the full background and easier to get around the site, to go from one section to another. Like the way the visitor is able to easily comment. I’d rate this new site 4.5 out of 5.0.

    1. fasfric Post author


      Thanks for the query. Would love to have you aboard!

      Just click on the PDF linked Membership Application under
      the menu title “Membership” and you’ll be able to print out
      the appliation and send it on in. The address if right on
      the application, itself. $20 is the normal membership,
      and for anyone interested in doing some memorial giving, there’s
      always our “Buy and Acre” campaign to help us get the remaining
      acreage of the 1916 original airfield of the First Aero Squadron.
      Can you imgaine in this day and age buying an entire acre close
      to a town for only $250? We’ve already received over half the
      160 acres in memorial cash donations in just a few short months
      (see the lastest “Aerodrome” newsletter).

      Thanks again for getting in touch – and for visiting our site.

      ric lambart, Webmaster and president

  5. Robby

    Bless you fог your fսnctional information. It really shows you are competent, educated and
    expert in this field, which is tricky to come bү in this dɑy and age.

  6. Nancy Aldrich

    The website looks great and is easy to navigate. Thanks for posting my article and a link to 2othcenturyaviationmagazine.com. I am happy to be a new member of the organization. I live too far away to make meetings, but enjoy communicating with other members, and perusing the website!

  7. Mike coyle

    My grandfather, Arthur j coyle was a captain in the squadron. He is credited with being the first American to participate in aerial combat in an American squadron (first aero squadron). He had three confirmed kills and was shot down three times. He never thought much of Curtis le May and blamed him for not giving the American squadrons parachutes.

    1. fasfric Post author

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and comments with us. Can you give us more information about your Grandfather? We’d love to possibly do a story on him, or you might write one up yourself. Am sure our FASF followers would find his more detailed history of great intrerest! Ric Lambart

      1. fasfric Post author

        Phillip. Where did you get this long URL? It has some great photos, but not sure what all of them are.

        Do you know? Would like to use some of them if we know what they are. Thanks. Ric

  8. Edward Franklin Smith

    I lived in Columbus from 1952 to 1957 and the FAA emergency Airport was an important part of our town. It was manned 24/7 as an emergency field for the airliners continually flying high overhead. My Dad was section foreman for the Southern Pacific RR, and our house sat beside the Depot, which is of course now the Pancho Villa Museum. In 1954 Roosevelts former plane, the Sacred Cow, made an emergency landing there. All of the town folk got to tour her the week or so she spent there before they got her to flying again. I didn’t see her again until 2 years ago when I toured The Air Force Museum at Dayton Ohio. The only other noteworthy plane incident I remember is a Navy Panther Jet crashing about 5 miles west of town, killing the pilot who failed to eject. I am a member of the CAF, AZ Wing. I am a docent at our air Museum and a Loadmaster on the B-17, “Sentimental Journey”; and the B-25 “Made In The Shade”. I will definitely be joining and supporting the FASF, and I hope to see you all in person next summer.

  9. fasfric Post author

    Edward – Thanks for not just taking the time to send us your interesting remarks about you and your family while living in Columbus, but for shedding some more light on the otherwise far too obscure post WWII local history of the town – and its airfield – now being purchased by the FASF. We’re looking forward to having you as a member and in seeing you this coming Summer! ric lambart, Pres. FASF

  10. mark

    I have a first aero squadron item and I can’t find out what it is or what it may be worth. Could you help me? I can email a picture if you gI’ve me an address.

    1. fasfric Post author

      Thanks for the inquiry, Mark. From the photo, which we can’t see here (but thanks to your email, now have seen), it would appear to be something fabricated sometime after the end of WWI and likely before WWII. It’s most probably something used during the thirties or maybe even during WWII. It employs the post WWI wing style (not that used during the first big war) with the propeller in the center that didn’t appear in use till after the end of WWI. This arrangement was used up through the end of WWII prior to the founding of the separate United States Air Force in 1947. The AMC, above the wing/propeller insignia has appeared in similar combinations of those same letters even in the USAF to designate the Air Material Command, but could also have had another meaning during WWII, but, unfortunately, none of us know the precise or correct answer to that question – – – at least not at this juncture. Maybe someone might come up with a good answer now that you’ve shared your photo with some of our Board members. Thanks again for your interest, and good luck!

  11. richard

    I have a colt 1911 early holster. On the Flap is lightly stamped below the US is

    1 AERO
    B. SQD

    would you know what all that means. I cannot find anything about a B SQD OR THE NUMBER 23


  12. Angel M. Ruiz,MSgt(Ret),USAF

    Where do I find a dvd of the Mexican punitive expedition, showing the planes of the 1st Aero Squadron in ops?

  13. futures trading

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after looking at
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