Selfridge, flying with Orville Wright, was killed when the plane crashed. After more testing with an improved Wright Flyer, the Army formally accepted this airplane, identified as "Airplane No. In Galveston on March 3, the Chief Signal Officer designated the assembled men and equipment the "1st Provisional Aero Squadron," with Capt Charles De F. The 1st Provisional Aero Squadron began flying activities a few days later. 4, general orders redesignated the unit as the 1st Aero Squadron, effective Dec. It directed the Aviation Section to operate and supervise "all military [U. Army] aircraft, including balloons and aeroplanes, all appliances pertaining to said craft, and signaling apparatus of any kind when installed on said craft." When World War I broke out in Europe in August 1914, the 1st Aero Squadron represented the entire tactical air strength of the U. In December 1915 the Aviation Section consisted of 44 officers, 224 enlisted men and 23 airplanes--still a tiny force when compared to the fledgling air forces of the European powers.
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