March 2nd, 2010 was a significant anniversary in the history of American military aviation, and the Company regrets that we did not mark it properly. One hundred years ago on that date, then-Lieutenant Benjamin Foulois—assigned to the Aeronautical Division of the U.S. Signal Corps, forerunner of today’s U.S. Air Force—made the first all-military flights in a powered, heavier-than-air craft.
The celebration honored Maj. Gen. Benjamin Foulois, a Signal Corps pilot who flew the “Wright “B” Flyer” aircraft. In his honor, a demonstration of two Wright “B” Flyer replicas were watched by the more than 1,500 in attendance at the MacArthur Parade Field at Fort Sam Houston.
On March 2, 1910, this parade field was where General Foulois made his first take-off, solo flight, and landing and after four flights, his first crash. He survived.
— McGovern, Matthew (Technical Sergeant, USAF). “Military, civilians celebrate 100 years of military flight at Fort Sam Houston.” Defense Media Activity-San Antonio, 2 March 2010.
Here’s a sample of four images from the AF.mil photo essay that accompany the article:
Members of the Texas Military Forces Museum dressed in replica Army uniforms of 1910 render a salute during the opening ceremonies of the Fort Sam Houston Centennial Reenactment March 2, 2010. The ceremony honored the first flight of Signal Corps Aircraft No. 1 on the Fort Sam Houston Parade Ground. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)
Don Gum, pilot of this Wright "B" Flyer, stands before the aircraft before taxiing down the Fort Sam Houston Parade Ground during a reenactment of the first all-military flight in America, March 2, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)
Don Gum, a Wright "B" Flyer pilot, taxis the "Yellow Bird" down the Fort Sam Houston Parade Ground March 2, 2010, during a reenactment of the first all-military flight in America. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)
Rich Stepler and Don Stroud, Wright "B" Flyer pilots, performed a demonstration flight of their "Brown Bird" March 2, 2010, over MacArthur Parade Ground at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, during the Foulois Centennial Military Flight Celebration event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)