Col. Roy C. Kirtland

This week in history - March 5, 1913: 1st Aero Squadron (Provisional) activated In February 1913, President William Howard Taft ordered the U.S. Army 2nd Division, with encampments in Texas City and Galveston, Texas, to mobilize as a defense against increasing tensions with Mexico. On Feb. 25, 1913, the Army’s chief signal officer, Brig. Gen. George P. Scriven, ordered the airplanes, soldiers and equipment then at the aviation training school at Augusta, Georgia, to Texas City. On March 5, the Army designated the small command the 1st Aero Squadron (Provisional). The unit consisted of nine airplanes, nine officers and 51 enlisted men. One of the officers was 1st. Lt. Roy C. Kirtland, (whose name would be given to the former Albuquerque Army Air Base in 1942), who commanded the 1st Aero Squadron from June to November 1913. In December, the 1st Aero Squadron dropped “Provisional” from its title to become the Army’s first regular air squadron.

VIRIN: 130306-F-AH330-001.JPG
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