Tag Archives: Pancho Villa State Park NM

Trustees Meet with Army Sergeants Major Academy Staff

The new U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy Historian, Dr. Everett Dague, from Kansas, and the Academy’s NCO Heritage and Education Center’s History Specialist, Leigh E. Smith, and his wife, Gretta, had lunch today at FASF Business Supporter, Ivonne Romero’s (scroll down the page at link to read about Ivonne and her renown establishment) famous Pink Store in Palomas, Mexico.

Their hosts for this visit were FASF Trustees Dr. Kathleen Martin, FASF Treasurer, Alma Villezcas, and Trustee Ric Lambart, all seen in the below photo.  The manager of New Mexico’s esteemed Pancho Villa State Park and Director of its renown Exhibit Hall, John Read, and his wife, Elle, both long time members of the FASF, also took part in welcoming both Dr. Dague, and the Smiths to both Columbus and its sister city, Palomas, Mexico.

Both Dr. Dague and Leigh Smith regularly conduct “Army Staff Rides” from El Paso’s Fort Bliss to Columbus for the purpose of teaching Army combat history to their students from the Army’s Sergeants Major Academy.  Today’s gathering was to help both Mr. Smith and Dr. Dague become better acquainted with Columbus, NM, and some of the people who work with its unique history, which resulted from it being the launching place of the famous response to Pancho Villa’s raid on the town in 1916, and the resulting “Punitive Expedition,” which was launched by order of then President Woodrow Wilson.

The VIP visitors from Fort Bliss gifted the FASF with some special items of historical significance regarding the Army’s Sergeants Major Academy and about the Non-Commissioned Officer’s training – – – and of their significant role in making the history of the Army itself.

      Remember: To see any of the FASF Site’s photographs in High Resolution, simply click on them.

L to R above: Alma Villezcas, John Read, Elle Read, Gretta Smith, Leigh Smith, Dr. Kathleen Martin, Dr. Everett Dague, and Ric Lambart. The above photo is courtesy of the Pink Store!

After the lunch at the Pink Store, John Read demonstated his new video camera equipped drone (see below photos) with which he plans to make new aerial views of the historic FAS 1916-17 Airfield.  He launched his drone from the main East West Runway of the airfield.

Above, John Read, flies his drone aloft with his remote control instrument panel.  The view down the runway is East towards El Paso, TX

The drone’s quiet four rotor blades swiftly lifted the device so high above the runway that we lost sight of it altogether.  Here it is returning by its own internal GPS guidance system.


Colonel Don Patton, US Army Retired, who is one of the founders of the Dr. Harold C. Deutsch WWII History Round Table in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, dropped by to visit the First Aero Squadron 1916 Airfield here in Columbus, yesterday.  After touring the FASF Headquarter’s Office, and the Airfield, Colonel Patton and Ric Lambart picked up another FASF long time member, John Read, Manager of the Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, and went to Palomas, Mexico to have lunch at the world renown Pink Store.  The picture below, of Col. Patton, John Read and Ric Lambart was taken by another long time FASF member, Yvonne Romero (scroll down to the Pink Store), the creator – and owner/manager – of the  Pink store.  Any of the below photos can be seen in full-size by simply clicking on them.

L to R: Col. Don Patton, John Read, and Ric Lambart – Photo by Yvonne Romero

Col Patton standing by the wind-sock pole at the 1916 Airfield with Columbus in the background.

After his visit to Columbus and Palomas, Mexico, Colonel Patton departed for Holloman Air Force Base, to join his son, Colonel Jeff “Tank” Patton, USAF, who commands the Base’s 49th Operations Group at the Air Base.  After touring the Pancho Villa State Park with John Read, the Colonel visited the home of Richard and Betty Dean.

Dean is considered to be the foremost local historian on matters related to the infamous raid on Columbus in 1916 by Pancho Villa and Richard is also the President of the FASF’s sister organization, the Columbus Historical Society, which operates the well known “Depot Museum” in town.  Mr. Dean’s great-grandfather was one of the victims of Villa’s marauders on March 9, 1916.  Dean has appeared on both PBS specials about the Raid and also on other national TV networks regarding the same infamous historical event.

Col. Patton standing on the E-W Airfield Runway.  The view is to the East towards El Paso, Texas.

Colonel Patton fills our his FASF Membership Application.

Colonel Patton poses in front of the Pancho Villa State Park’s historic Curtiss JN-4 Jenny Airplane.

L to R: John Read explaining some of the historical facts about the infamous raid of March 9th, 1916 by Pancho Villa, Col. Patton.

L to R: Col. Patton listens to more about the 1916 Raid from John Read.

L to R: Col. Patton listens to John Read explain how this 1914 photo of U.S. General Black Jack Pershing, with Pancho Villa has most often misidentified his Aide de Camp as Lt. Patton (later General George Patton of WWII fame – who was involved with Pershing in the 1916 Punitive Expedition, but was not in that particular photo.  The man so often misidentified as young Patton, was actually the General’s Aide de Camp, Lt. James Lawton Collins, who sometime after WWII also became a Major General himself.).  Our new member is not related to General George S. Patton. 

Colonel Patton had recently booked one of our long time Advisors, Dr. Roger Miller, former Deputy Historian for the United States Air Force, to speak to his WWII Round Table in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Dr. Miller made presentations about both the First Aero Squadron’s involvement in the 1916-17 Punitive Expedition, and also the Berlin Airlift.  Both topics are specialties of Dr. Miller’s.  The former USAF Historian has also authored some well known books on both those episodes of U.S. History.