DATELINE: August 1, 2014 – El Paso, Texas
Our FASF Airfield Site Development Team concluded its first exploratory, discovery and analysis conference at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas this past week. They met with Dr. Robert Bouilly, the official Historian for the U.S. Army Sergeant Majors Academy. Dr. Bouilly is one of the country’s foremost historical authorities and research specialists regarding the 1916-17 Punitive Expedition, including the country’s first combat deployment of its aircraft by the First Aero Squadron out of Columbus, NM.
As a result of this research session, the FASF team came away with some vital new information regarding the precise location of the First Aero’s Flight Line on the newly acquired old Airfield property. Pictured below (L to R) are: Dr. Bouilly, Fritz Wagoner and Bill Madden. Wagoner and Madden are both from Las Cruces, NM. These two FASF members are among the hardest working volunteers within the entire FASF community, yet they live almost 100 miles distant from Columbus.
In addition to this meeting with Dr. Bouilly, these men, along with team member Mark Drexler, also of Las Cruces, have spent many hours under the hot Summer sun working on the FASF Airfield acreage exploring and searching for evidentiary materials that might help us determine the precise location of the old Airfield’s FAS Flight Line. Before construction can begin on the replicated FAS Flight Line, it is imperative that the exact location of the old buildings be accurately determined. Consequently, this team’s field work, as well as its academic studies and research, are critical for the project’s success.
Thanks to the unfolding success of the “Buy an Acre Campaign,” being conducted by Founding FASF President, Gene Valdes, the FASF has now paid for well over half of the newly acquired 160 acres old Airfield parcel on which the FASF Airfield Site Development Team has been working.