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The MuralThe 360 Degree View

Tactical Air Support

The Army’s “Jenny” aircraft were shipped by rail from San Antonio, reassembled and flown into Mexico from the U. S. side of the border at Columbus, New Mexico to aid in locating [Pancho Villa] and his troops after their tragic raid into Columbus. General John J. Pershing was directed to organized a force to protect the border, and the 1st Aero Squadron, commanded by Capt. B.D. Foulois, was ordered to join the “punitive expedition” at Columbus.

The punitive expedition was the last true cavalry action mounted by the U.S. Army, and it was the first U.S. military operation to employ mechanized vehicles. Pershing experimented on this expedition with automobiles, trucks and airplanes in what proved to be good preparation for his work in World War I. It was also the first time an American tactical air unit was tested in the field under combat conditions.

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extended activity
Draw a picture of the “Jenny” Aircraft. Compare it to an airplane of today. How are they different? How are they alike?

Related Links:

From the National Archives

Report of the First Aero Squadron, Signal Corps

US Air Force Museum

Read More, Learn More:

Allen, Inez V, and Robert S. Thomas. 1954. The Mexican Punitive Expedition under Brigadier General John J. Pershing, United States Army, 1916-1917. Washington, D.C.: The Chief of Military History

Eisenhower, John S.D. 1993. Intervention: The United States and the Mexican Revolution, 1913-1917. New York: WW Norton & Company.