Wings and Wheels

By Dr. Roger G. Miller


When the train carrying Captain Benjamin D. Foulois and the  1st Aero Squadron steamed into Columbus, New Mexico, on the morning of March 15, 1916, it brought with it two technological innovations that would cause a revolution in the mobility and striking power of the U.S. Army.  The first of these was,  perhaps, the most dramatic.  Off the train came eight wood, wire, and fabric Curtiss JN-3 biplanes, virtually every airplane owned by the army save those at the signal Corps Aviation School at San Diego, California.  For the first time, America’s “airplanes, the train carried the 1st Aero Squadron’s organic transportation: ten four-wheel drive motor trucks, oddities in an army still wedded to the horse and mule. . .

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