My Georgia History


Signal CorpsThe Barnes family farm was located on Sandbar Ferry Road southeast of Augusta, before you get to the Savannah River. Flying and the airplane were new inventions in America.  In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright two brothers from Ohio, went down to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina where they flew the first airplane.  On February 10, 1908, the United States government entered a formal contract with the Wright Brothers for the delivery of one “heavier-than-air flying machine” in accordance to specification number 486.  The government specifications required air speed of 40 miles per hour, capable of remaining in the air one hour and had to be under control at all times.  In June, 1911, the first army aviation school was opened in College Park, Maryland.  Due to the cold temperatures in the winter, they decided to move the school south to Augusta, Georgia.  Five airplanes were available that year and six officers qualified as pilots.  The school set up in Augusta aeronautics plaqueNovember 29, 1911.  Augusta mayor, Thomas Barrett Jr., gave the school a hearty welcome.   In January of 1912, Wilbur Wright visited the school giving much valuable advice.  The school returned to Maryland in April of 1912 and again to Barnes farm November 19, 1912.  The strained relations with Mexico caused all men and equipment to be moved to Texas February 28, 1813, becoming a part of the Second Division.  The two days previous to the departure from Augusta were spent preparing for what would be in the first military use of airplanes by the U.S. had military IMG_0207operations developed.  The evacuation in 1913 marks the end of the Augusta school.  Among the aviators trained at this school were Col. T. D. Milling, Chief of Staff of Brigadier General William (Billy) Mitchell in World War I, and General Harley (Hap) Arnold, commander of the U.S. Air forces in World War II.





Signal Corps Aviation School Historic sign inscription

US Army Signal Corps Museum

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