Wednesday, March 19, 2008
First Air Combat Mission
Today we feature a picture of a biplane that participated in the first aerial combat mission. This occurred on this day, March 19, in the year 1916. You see, Pancho Villa was involved in a revolutionary movement in Mexico. Then in March of 1916 he decided it would be a good idea to invade the United States. He sent about 1,000 Mexican Raiders across the border, and attacked Columbus, New Mexico. Yep, he really wanted to hit us where it would hurt. Anyway, President Woodrow Wilson did not take to kindly to the offense, so he sent General John J. Pershing down south to deal with the situation. Pershing took about 6,000 troops to find Villa. At the same time, the existing Mexican government was using Carranza's army to find Villa. Bottom line is that there were lots of people looking for Villa in 1916.
Pershing used biplanes like the one pictured above to try and locate Villa. Pershing's expedition was eventually called off after he was unable to find Villa. The Mexican Army was also unable to find Villa. I have always been interested in Pancho Villa. I always like underdogs who were able to find success even when facing overwhelming odds.