A Holiday Celebration for the FASF . . . 5+ Years in the Making

The project began in early 2013 . . . The project?  To replicate the 102-year-old 1st Aero Squadron’s original and renowned GUIDON flag.  Click on the word “GUIDON” to the immediate left, and learn about Guidons – – – what they are – – – and what – and why – they represent what they do.

To view the two photos below in large size and full resolution, simply click on them.

L to R above are Josh Plasencio, FASF Corporate Secretary and Alma Villezcas, FASF Treasurer.

There are only two (2) that have survived this long stretch of time:  One is hermetically sealed (for protection) in a frame at the National Museum of the Air Force, at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) in Dayton, Ohio; and the other is in the Air Force Exhibition Team (THUNDERBIRD) Museum at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

Not since the First Aero Squadron (FAS) fought in World War I – in Europe – has that same Guidon Flag waved over any First Aero Airfield or command headquarters (HQ).  It was proudly waving briskly in the Columbus, New Mexico breezes all during the Squadron’s operation in that small border town over a century ago.

When we first explored obtaining our own identical FAS Guidon, we had no idea how difficult obtaining an accurate replica would actually turn out to be.  After many consultations with both the two USAF museums (that have one of the original surviving Guidons), and many measurements and numerous failed attempts to obtain a sufficiently high enough resolution photo, along with precise dimensions of those two remaining originals, we finally obtained what we needed in order to digitize an exact replica pattern with which to make our own GUIDON.

None of this would have worked had we not also had the indispensable help and guidance from “Mr. Guidon USA,” Steve Zucker, whose company makes virtually all the thousands of Guidons for the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and a multitude of other governmental agencies from Police Departments to Fire Departments throughout the U.S.

For those familiar with the U.S. Army Signal Corps and its ancient insignia of the crossed Semaphore Flags, the century-old FAS Guidon insignia will immediately be recognized.  Why?

Because, since they had no idea of where else to place the fledgling air arm of the Army, they put it under the Army Signal Corps.  So, when the FAS Guidon was first created, those crossed semaphore flags were incorporated, but the torch that arose in the middle of their crossed staffs was eliminated, and an American Eagle in Flight was placed below the crossed flags, instead.  Those two remaining original FAS GUIDONS were all hand-embroidered by skilled women seamstress/flag/guidon makers of the day.  To stand out, the background field of the Guidon is of a reddish-orange, with gold-colored staffs, and each semaphore and the eagle were of silver embedded thread.

Well, again thanks to the initiative and years of hard work and tireless research by “Mr. Guidon,” the new version of the FASF Guidon was finally completed – to specifications – and presented to the FASF.  Because the FAS Guidon must look the same from either side, it had to be stitched on two separate panels, which were then stitched together.  The second photo below shows the Guidon from its other side.

Again proudly displaying this new FAS GUIDON’s other side (below) are: (L to R), Ric Lambart; FASF Corporate Secretary, Josh Plasencio, and FASF Treasurer, Alma Villezcas.  The presentation was made at the First Savings Bank in Deming, NM, a long-time Business Member of the FASF, of which Josh is the President.  Appropriately enough, the presentation was made and the Guidon was displayed during the Bank’s annual Christmas Holiday Celebration.  Only because Mr. Zucker lives in Texas, did he miss the happy celebration, today.

In the photo above, Ric Lambart joined Josh and Alma who are now holding up the Guidon to show its opposite side.  This photo is thanks to Michelle Apodaca of the First Savings Bank.

Leave a Reply