Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The United States Army Signal Corps Aviation Section was a weak air service devoted primarily to experimental testing prior to World War I. In March 1916, President Woodrow Wilson ordered a punitive expedition into Mexico to capture the Mexican nationalist, Francisco (Panco) Villa. One of the organizations assigned to the expedition was the Frist Aero Squadron: The Signal Corps' only operational unit. This study examines the Mexican punitive expedition, preparedness for World War I, and the development of United States air power. It concludes that the Mexican punitive expedition was a critical point in the history of the United States Air Force.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of History and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts. Copyright 1970, Perry R. Nuhn

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