New York Air Guard Unit Celebrates 100 Years
In this painting from the National Guard historical series, members of the 1st Aero Company, New York National Guard, return from the first mass flight--12 JN-4"Jenny" aircraft-- in U.S. history from Mineola, Long Island to Princeton, N.J. and back, that was conducted Nov. 18-19, 1916.
The descendants of the 1st Aero Company, the New York Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing, is based on Long Island today, flying air rescue missions out of Francis Gabreski Airport; the oldest Air National Guard unit in the United States.
The 1st Aero Company was organized as an Signal Corps observation balloon company by the New York National Guard on 30 April, 1908.
One hundred soldiers gathered in the 71st Regiment Armory in New York City eventually formed the company, which in 1915 switched from balloons to airplanes.