The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 430
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ment and its commanding officer, Captain Charles deForest
Chandler, left the Georgia city on a special train of eleven cars
on February 28, 1913, and arrived at Texas City on March 2.
The party numbered five officers and twenty-one enlisted men.
All equipment essential to field service was carried along, two
carloads of garrison equipment were sent to College Park, the
training mission of the Augusta detachment was abandoned, and
a provisional aero squadron was organized.8
On arrival at Texas City the aviation squadron went into quar-
ters near the shore of Galveston Bay. Hangars were erected for
the airplanes and tents for the officers and men. Besides Captain
Chandler, the officer personnel of the new squadron included
Frank B. Hennessy, Eric Ellington, Harry Graham, Roy Kirtland,
Loren H. Call, Thomas Dewitt Milling, and William C. Sherman,
and Captain Charles J. Boehs, Medical Corps. The flying equip-
ment included eight airplanes and one seaplane or hydroplane.
The pilots serving at Texas City in I913 were all qualified avia-
tion pilots and three-Chandler, Kirtland, and Milling-were
qualified as "Military Aviators." In reporting on the arrival of
these celebrities at Galveston and Texas City, the Galveston News
Aviation as a branch of the United States Army has not been officially
recognized by Congress ... men in the aviation squadron have been
detailed from other branches of the service and under the operation
of the 'Manchu law' must go back to their regular stations in the
service and remain with their commands at least four out of six
years. This has robbed the aviation squadrons of some of their best
Evidently Chandler and his companions were as expert at public
relations as they were at flying.
Bad weather delayed flights in the Galveston area until March
o1, when all of the airplanes got into the air during the afternoon
and some of the flights extended over the coastal plains as far as
La Marque and Texas City Junction. These flights were witnessed
by hundreds of spectators, many of whom had never seen an air-
plane before.5 On the following day Thomas Milling, flying the
"Ibid., citing National Archives, Signal Corps Document No. 283og.
4Galveston News, March 6, 1913.
Itrd., March 11, 1913.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/456/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.