Dr. Bouilly Discovers Rare Photo Of Twin Jenny at Columbus

                                                                             Twin Jenny at Columbus 1916

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.

Dr. Bouilly presenting his lecture, yesterday, at Columbus’ Pancho Villa State Park. He explained the little known incident of a number of Chinese Miners, along some who had helped General Pershing in Mexico, both groups of which were placed in a Refugee camp at Columbus, literally rescued by the greateful Pershing.

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.

                                        JN-4 Jenny converted into a twin-engined reconnaissance airplane.

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.

 Another photo of the Twin Jenny. This conversion shows the old R-2 type of vertical fin at the rear.  It also has a completely different propeller style than does the photo immediately above.  The larger Rudder was installed in order to provide better lateral control in case of an engine failure while in flight.

                                   Another view of the Twin Jenny secured to an engine test platform.

This rare photo is thanks to the aviation Blog writer, Kurt Wheaton, who’s grandfather, Ivan, flew Jennys before and after WWI. Mr. Wheaton inherited hundreds of photos taken by His grandfather.  The ship to the far right above, is the rare Curtiss single-seat “Scout.”  To its rear, (L), between the two Curtiss ships, is the ubiquitous JN-4, itself, and the one behind it is the “Twin Jenny.” Later, during WWII Curtiss built a number “Scout” aircraft, but, while they bore the same name as the rare machiner above, they were totally differnt and modern military aircraft.

2 thoughts on “Dr. Bouilly Discovers Rare Photo Of Twin Jenny at Columbus

  1. William Madden

    Does anyone know why the twin Jenny in the upper photo is missing its outer wing bays?

  2. fasfric

    Bill, not surprised you saw something the rest of us missed. You sure have a sharp eye. I’ll have to go back and study that photo and see what you saw first. Then we be able to find the answer. Thanks for noticing the missing outer bays!


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