The above photo was recently located by the now retired and once very active Chief Historian for the U.S. Army’s Sergeant Major’s Academy located at Fort Bliss, in El Paso, Texas, Dr. Robert Bouilly, who has, over the years, kindly provided a number of rare and fascinating historic photos and other information about the First Aero squadron’s experiences at Columbus during the Punitive Expedition. That Punitive Expedition is something about which Dr. Bouilly likely knows more than any other living professional Historian.
The photo is in the New Mexico Archives in Sante Fe, NM, and is part of the Palace of the governors Photo Archive. One of the FASF’s own advisors, Dr. Roger Miller, remains the foremost expert on matters pertaining to the First Aero’s operations during that expedition. His excellent and colorfully written Memorial Booklet to this event, A Preliminary to War, can be found right here, on this website. Simply click on the preceding link to read the story.
Here below are some other photos of this very rare twin-engined adaptation of the famous JN-4 Jenny. Only a few of these unique airplanes were constructed. They were tested in Columbus by the First Aero Squadron’s pilots, but found to be wanting in performance to such and extent that they were rejected, in terms of having any future with the U. S. Army.
These photos will give you a clear idea of what was done to the successful JN-4 in order to make it a twin-engined aircraft. basically, you will notice that the engine and its cowling in front of the airplane was removed and replaced by another cockpit, one which was designed for either an observer of an aerial machine gunner. The ship’s power was then derived from the placement on each lower wing, on either side of the fuselage, of the additional two engines.