San Antonio Chamber attends annual tribute to military aviation pioneer


Lt. Benjamin Foulois was guided by inventors Orville and Wilbur Wright.    Contributed photo

The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce recently sent a delegation to the celebration of the 107th anniversary of the First Flight of Signal Corps Aircraft No. 1 flown by Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois. 

Foulois was the fist aviator for the United States military. He is often referred to as the “father of U.S. military aviation.”

In 1909, the Lieutenant was relocated to Fort Sam Houston where he was instructed to teach himself to fly. He consulted and was guided by inventors Orville and Wilbur Wright. 

Along with a civilian pilot trained by the Wrights, Foulois made the first military reconnaissance flight during maneuvers along the Rio Grande. In 1931, Foulois served as the Chief of the Army Air Service. He retired in 1935.

The Chamber detailed this fascinating bit of history on its website in a news release. 

Because of Foulois, more achievements were made in aviation in San Antonio and beyond that helped grow America's arsenal of airpower during the two world wars. 

The Chamber helped bring together all teams with an interest in celebrating this anniversary and achievement for the 100th anniversary celebration in 2010. Traditionally, at least since the 1970s, those who shed the most light on this flight through annual observance were the Daedalians (Stinson Flight No. 2) and the Army Aviation Association of America (Jack H. Dibrell/Alamo Chapter) in conjunction with the Fort Sam Houston Public Affairs Office, according to the Chamber.

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