In March 1910, Lt. Benjamin Foulois was ordered to Fort Sam Houston near San Antonio
, Texas, with a used Wright Brothers
aeroplane and a small contingent of enlisted men. His mission was to teach himself how to operate this primitive flying machine and begin demonstrating the practical uses it might have for the United States Army. This history is chronicled through in-depth captions and over 200 images as author Mel Brown tells the story of how San Antonio eventually became the cradle of military aviation
. Mastery of the air would take time, equipment, and lives as the demanding flight path led from the early trials at Ft. Sam to the eventual establishment of four flying centers around the city. Working through trial and error, the aeronautic pioneers and first combat aviators convinced the military that the building of an American air arm was needed; thus the legend of the U.S. Air Force at San Antonio was born. Using many photographs never before published, the author tells the rich history of the air force bases in San Antonio, including Kelly, Brooks, and Randolph Fields. Also included are images of some of aviation's first heroes, such as Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and Clair Chennault.
Wilbur and Orville Wright succeeded in the first manned heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk NC in December 1903. Americans Wilbur and Orville Wright conducted the first heavier-than-air flight and America has led in aviation innovations ever since.