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The Lone Star Flight Museum “Taking Flight” Gala Co-Chairs Cathy and Joe Cleary and Lisa and Jerry Simon hosted a VIP Reveal reception on Tuesday, February 28th at the River Oaks Country Club.  Nearly 200 guests mixed and mingled before enjoying a brief program about the new museum and to learn more about the upcoming gala on May 20th to take place in the new facility.
Scott Rozzell, chairman of the LSFM board of directors and Doug Owens, LSFM CEO, offered updates on the museum’s capital campaign and construction progress.

Guests were later treated to a video about the Aviation Learning Center that will be installed in the new museum.  This will be only second center of its kind in the country and will serve to inspire and educate students in STEM concepts as they relate to the concepts of flight.

Jerry Simon announced the newest Texas Aviation Hall of Fame Inductees:  President George W. Bush; Major General Benjamin Foulois; and Al Mooney and the 111th Aero
Squadron at Ellington Airport. The inductees will be formally presented at the gala. Rozzell also made a special announcement that long-time board member, Marshall Cloyd, will be the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for his instrumental service throughout the life of the museum and for his leadership in moving it to Ellington.
The “Taking Flight” Gala will feature the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony before guests will enjoy superb entertainment by Tony and Grammy nominated pianist Michael Cavanaugh.  Taking place on Armed Forces Day, the Gala will offer a moving salute to veterans and active duty members of the armed forces.

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Marshall Cloyd with Karen and Scott Rozzell, LSFM Board Chair and Lisa and Jerry Simon, LSFM Gala Co-Chairs.


2017 "Taking Flight" Gala Co-Chairs Cathy and Joe Cleary with Lisa and Jerry Simon.


Individual tickets for the Gala are now available on the website

at or by calling 713-467-2812.




Construction progress was all about the details in February. Inside and outside, walls went up with proper filling and coverings. The boardroom windows were installed in a single day as well as fans, lights, ducts and door operators in the hangars. Across the parking lots, joints have been filled, light pole bases have been caged, and additional sidewalks and curbs have been poured. Inside, miles of wires and cables have been pulled with permanent power available soon along with air conditioning.
Just weeks from completion, and the close up and finish out work underway, the first sets of interior doors have been installed in the Waltrip Hangar, Heritage Hangar and Boardroom. In the Aircraft Restoration area of the building, the first ceiling grid has been hung. Glass on the interior wall of the Arrival Hall vestibule went up and technology cable now snakes overhead throughout the building. Pipes and ducts have been insulated, awaiting paint to complete the "black box" ceiling effect. The Research and Archives Center on the second floor has been framed, and its walls are currently being closed up. Gray metal accents atop the single-story parapets of the main building exterior define another handsome building outline. The primary entry plaza is being formed and reinforced, ready for concrete with star-shaped accents. The landscape contractor has begun to dig and place primary lines for tree and drip irrigation at the site perimeter, and the low walls for the patios at the restaurant and cafe have emerged from the ground.
We look forward to forming and pouring the remaining driveways, additional landscaping and tree installs, the delivery of the Mooney Simulator and the installation of exhibits.





As progress continues on the Lone Star Flight Museum’s new home at Ellington, CEO Doug Owens continues to assemble a team of professionals who will advance the museum into its new era. He has selected Katie Jackman as the new vice president of marketing, sales and communications.

“It will be my job to ensure people – whether from Houston or elsewhere - know who we are and inspire them to visit,” said Jackman. “This is a most exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to being a part of the museum’s mission that invests in the future of our youth, while honoring the past and Houston’s place in the history of aviation.”
Prior to joining the LSFM on March 6, she served as the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Alley Theatre. She brings more than 20 years of marketing experience, including Seattle Repertory Theatre, Hennepin Theatre Trust and Clear Channel Entertainment.  She worked in marketing planning for the Target Corporation, executing marketing initiatives and co-partnerships. Jackman began her career at the Portland Opera, after earning a Bachelor’s of Arts in Humanities from the University of Oregon. She also holds a Management Certificate from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota.

“I’m pleased to have Katie join our team. We are fortunate to have someone of her caliber and experience on board to generate excitement about LSFM throughout our immediate community and beyond, said Doug Owens, LSFM CEO.





By Stewart Bailey, LSFM Curator


For the U.S. military in the early 1900s, getting aviation “off the ground” was an epic struggle; one which would often take place in the skies over Texas.   After the Wright brothers’ first flight in 1903, the military was unsure what to do with the new found science of aviation or if it would even have a place in modern warfare.  Hesitant to get involved, the Army waited until 1907 to issue a specification inviting bids for a flying machine, and it was not until 1909 before they actually purchased an aircraft from the Wrights.  This aircraft, designated S.C. 1, was used by Wilbur Wright to teach Army Lieutenants Frank Lahm and Frederic Humphries to fly before it was damaged in a crash at College Park, Maryland.

After S.C. 1 was repaired, the Army decided that the Maryland weather was much too cold and windy for flying so in 1910, it shipped the plane to Fort Sam Houston, near San Antonio.  Coming with it was a Lieutenant by the name of Benjamin Foulois, who had orders to assemble the airplane and teach himself to fly. Over the next 15 months Foulois did indeed teach himself to fly; both by experimentation and through correspondence with Orville Wright.  He made a number of improvements to the aircraft such as adding wheels and seatbelts, and pioneered many applications such as aerial mapping, aerial photography and the use of a radio in flight.  Foulois was later joined by two other pilots, one of whom died in a May 1911 crash.  Shortly after the crash, the Army decided to end its first aviation experiment in Texas.

But Texas was not done with military aviation.  On March 5, 1913 the Army established the 1st Aero Squadron at Texas City, Texas, as part of a mobilization in response to rising tensions with Mexico.  The unit was comprised of two companies, each with eight officers and 45 enlisted men under Captain Charles De Forest Chandler.  Equipped with four Burgess Model H Air Tractors in A Company and a mix of Curtiss D, E and G Models in B Company, they set about to support the Army’s 2nd Division with aerial reconnaissance.  Texas City was chosen as their home base because of the waterfront provided easy access for seaplanes.  However, the coastal winds proved too strong and flying was sporadic at best.  Still, the unit was able to achieve a number of records for speed and distance with flights between Texas City, and Ft. Sam Houston.   In November 1913, the 1st Aero Squadron was moved to San Diego, although A Company was detached to Fort Crockett on
Galveston Island, after tensions again rose with Mexico in April, 1914.

While in San Diego, the 1st Aero Squadron was joined by now Captain, Benjamin Foulois as its commanding officer.  Over the next two years, Foulois would take the squadron back east to Fort Sill, Oklahoma by train in April, 1914 and then to Fort Sam Houston in November 1915 by air, marking the first time an entire U.S. military aviation unit made a cross-country flight together.  The move proved fortuitous, because five months later they would be called into combat in Mexico.

On March 9, 1916, Mexican rebel leader Pancho Villa and hundreds of his mounted troops raided the border town of Columbus, New Mexico.  Burning and looting the town, they killed 17 Americans and moved the United States to take action.  President Wilson sent General John Pershing on the Punitive Expedition to find and capture Villa, and Pershing chose to take the 1st Aero Squadron with him.  Now equipped with Curtiss JN-3 Jennys, the squadron moved by rail to Columbus and set up operations from there.  They flew their first reconnaissance mission on March 16, and three days later they deployed south into Mexico on the first U.S. mission into hostile territory.  For the next 11 months, the 1st Aero Squadron did its best to support the expedition, but the altitude of the Mexican mountains, the winds, and dust storms took their toll on the underpowered JN-3s.  Over time the squadron was equipped with newer aircraft, but problems with supply, quality control on the planes and unreliable engines, continued to frustrate the early aviators.  Eventually, the 1st Aero Squadron was recalled from Mexico in August 1917, and sent to France to join the American Expeditionary Force in World War I, ending the first U.S. experiment with aircraft in combat. 

The 1st Aero Squadron went on to fight in World War I and World War II, and today performs strategic reconnaissance missions with Lockheed U-2s and Global Hawk drones from Beale AFB in California.  Benjamin Foulois eventually rose to the rank of Major General and was Chief of the Air Corps before his retirement in 1935.  He died in 1967, having seen aviation go from the Wright brothers’ short flight at Kittyhawk to the Apollo Moon program.  Together Foulois and the 1st Aero Squadron created what would, in 1947, become the U.S. Air Force.  And, they started it all in Texas.

Photo courtesy of Moore Memorial Public Library.




In honor of the 2017 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame inductees, we will spotlight each one in the newsletters leading up to the induction ceremony at the 2017 "Taking Flight Gala." This month's edition highlights Major General Benjamin D. Foulous.

Major General Benjamin D. Foulois (1879-1967) – Often called the “one-man air force,” Foulois was involved in evaluating the first military planes purchased from the Wright Brothers and essentially taught himself how to fly in 1910 while stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Foulois established one of the first military airfields at what is now Kelly Field Annex and achieved numerous other military aviation “firsts” during his military aviation service, including the first to fly more than 100 miles non-stop (1911); first to make an operational reconnaissance flight; first to test the use of radio in flight; first commander of a tactical air unit (1st Aero Squadron) (1914); and first to use an aircraft in a combat operation (Mexico, 1916). He later served as Chief of the Air Service during World War I. He retired as a Major General in 1935. He is a member of the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.





Volunteers are the heart of the Lone Star Flight Museum – and we are always looking for more! With more than 35,000 service hours contributed annually, LSFM volunteers provide museum visitors with an exciting, entertaining and historically-based learning experience. To learn more and become a part of the crew, please call click here.



Support the mission of the Lone Star Flight Museum - become a member! Memberships are available for as little as $50 and entitle a member and their immediate family unlimited visits to the museum for the rest of 2017.  Memberships are available at the museum in Galveston or online at



March 2, 1949:  “Lucky Lady II,” a Boeing B-50 Superfortress lands at Carswell AFB in Fort Worth after completing a flight around the world.  It took off from Carswell 94 hours and one minute earlier, and was refueled in flight four times during its circumnavigation of the planet.

March 5, 1913: Formation of the Army Signal Corps’ 1st Aero Squadron at Texas City, Texas.

March 14, 1934: U.S. Navy captain, astronaut, naval aviator, electrical engineer and aeronautical engineer Eugene Andrew "Gene" Cernan was born. Commanding Apollo 17, Cernan became the eleventh person to walk on the Moon and is currently the last man to have walked upon its surface.

March 15, 1967: Herb Kelleher incorporates Southwest Airlines

March 15, 1932: Astronaut Alan Bean is born in Wheeler, Texas.  He is the fourth man to walk on the Moon, and the only native-born Texan to do so.  He is a member of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame.

March 19, 1964: Geraldine Fredritz (“Jerrie”) Mock began her journey to circumnavigate the earth in her 1953 Cessna 180, Spirit of Columbus. After landing on April 17, she became the first woman to complete a circumnavigation by air.

March 19, 1916: First flight by the 1st Aero Squadron to search for Pancho Villa and his band of raiders in Mexico.

March 23, 1903:  The Wright brothers obtain an airplane patent.

March 25, 1955: First flight of the Vought F8U Crusader carrier based fighter jet from the Vought plant in Dallas.

Sources: and

Other news

Join museum curator Stewart Bailey for an in-depth look at the aviation history in Mexico.

Join us as we kick off the school year right with a full day of high flying fun for the whole family Saturday, September 15 from 10 am - 3 pm!  Children 11 and under receive free admission.

Soar to new heights at the Lone Star Flight Museum for FREE on Smithsonian Museum Day, Saturday, September 22!