SAN ANTONIO – While March 2 marks Texas Independence Day, it is also the 107th anniversary of the first-ever aerial military flight, which took place in San Antonio.
Joint Base San Antonio commemorated the event on Thursday at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston MacArthur Parade Field March. Retired Air Force Col. James Humphries Jr. delivered the keynote speech as a wreath was placed on a monument to mark the occasion.
In a plane built by the famous Wright Brothers, Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois took off and flew for 7.5 minutes over Fort Sam Houston during what is now known as the “birth of military flight” on March 2, 1910.
Foulois would be responsible for jump-starting the idea of a United States Air Force.
"He began more and more to make an airplane into a mighty military weapon,” Humphries said.
Foulois’ work would become invaluable in World War II.
"It's quite a story of how America came from way behind and led the world with the most powerful Air Force in the world,” Humphries said.
Foulois made four flights that day. The first lasted 7.5 minutes, the second lasted 10 minutes and the third and fourth lasted 21 minutes each.