The Cuban Air Force and the President Machado
The Military Aviation grow
Were built three hangars, the building of the Headquarters and were expanded the mechanical section and the Parashot Department. During the government of the president Machado, the army and its small aviation grew in importance.Gerardo Machado
In this epoch integrated among others the officers corp of aviators pilots:
Gustavo Alfonso, Pablo Alonso, Aristides Agüero, Miguel de Jesús Bannatyne, José Barrientos, Javier Bazan, Jorge Cao, Miguel A. González, Eduardo Laborde Moliner, Ciro Leonard, Ramiro Leonard, Rogelio Morlote Caballero, Guillermo Martull, Alberto Ponce de León Hernández, José Terry Jimenez, Carlos Torres de Navarra, Alberto Valdes González, Manuel Vidal Lazaga, Guillermo González Vizcay.
In 1925 the US NAVY employs 3 airplanes Loening OA-1 in Cuba to do hidrographical carts of all the island. During the summer of 1926, two Corsairs flew the first international flight of the Cuban aviation from La Habana to Camaguey and continuing to Port Au Prince in Haiti, with Captain Laborde and Lieutenant Martull at the controls.
New equipment acquisitions in 1927-1932
the presidency of General Machado the Cuban Army and the little Air Corp grew
in importance and by mid 1925, four aircraft of the type QO-2 Corsair with option
to nine, were ordered from the Vought Aircraft Co., the first four aircraft that
arrived, received the denomination (7-8-9-10) and were the first new military
aircraft obtained by any Central American or Caribbean countries.
The hurricane of 1926 destroyed the hangars and the semi permanent buildings at Camp Columbia, besides damaging many airplanes. Major Ovidio Ortega y Campos leaded the reconstruction of many of the damaged airplanes.
Cubans Vought O2U-1 Corsair (courtesy of Andrés Huerta)
In 1927 Captain Rosenham Beam, later a General, together with the Lieutenants Jack Hodgson and James Gillespie and two Master Sergeants mechanics, Joseph Biando y Conrad O�Brian, arrived in Cuba as requested by President Machado, in order to reorganize the Corp and prepare for the expansion. The first action of Beam was to destroy the Jeannys, due to lack of security and this way concentrate on the other QO-2 existing, plus other six airplanes built by the Boeing De Havilland, the D.H 4M-1 (11-12-13-14-15-16) that were purchased before the mission arrived. Immediatedly Beam dedicated himself to securely established, expand and modernize the Air Corp. Ordered the necessary spare parts in order to have he 6 DH 4 ready for combat. This aircraft were damaged by the 1928 hurricane.
Cuba ordered 4 Buffalo Consolidated PT-3 Husky to be used primarily as trainers on February 1928 and incremented the order to total 10 aircraft. Four first, and two more by February 1930. This was the second period of the Air Corp that lasted from 1928 to 1933 and re established the strict system of numbering the aircraft and the PT-3 were numbered (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-11-12).
The Curtiss Hawk and Vought Corsair
In January 1932 arrived at Cuba 4 Curtiss Hawk II, serial (19-20-21-22) and an Aeronca C-3 for training. Probably the first aircraft of this type used at this function in the world. Also used by Captain Laborde in his flight of 2737 miles from Havana to Guatemala City to Mexico City and return to Cuba during the months of April 20 1932 and July 29 of the same year. During the first years of the decade of the thirties, 2 WACOS 9 and two WACOS 10, were donated by the newspaper "El País" and they receive the numbers 13-14, the other two were lost before numbers could be assigned to them.
Lindberg strolls the President
| ||Charles Lindberg and her Spirit of St. Louis with americans flags|
Others illustrious visitors
January 29, 1932 is performed in Cuba the
first and last autogyre flight, when the captain Lewis A.Yancey in its autogyre
Keller PCA-2, build in United States by design of the Spanish Juan of the Cierva,
arrives of Miami to Havana. Yancey brought mail. It is the first non-stop
flight among Havana, Cuba and City of Mexico. Previously, August 28, 1928, had
arrived at Havana, originating in City Mexico, Roberto Fierro Villalobos, Major
of the Mexican Air Force, in friendly flight. He arrived at the controls of a
Mexican build airplane, the Baja California N°2, monoplane parasol. Flight
June 11, 1933 arrives at Camaguey, Cuba, originating in Sevilla, Spain, the historic
airplane "Cuatro Vientos" ("Four Winds"), manned by the Captain Mariano Barberán
and Trós and the Lieutenant Joaquín Collar y Serra, of the spanish
military aviation. The following day they landed in the Airport Columbia in Havana,
Cuba. The details of the flight can be seen in Articles.
The "Cuatro Vientos" lands in Camaguey. Then, leaving Cuba bound for Mexico, the brave Spanish aviators Barberán and Collar will disappear for ever
The Aviation Military School
The aviation curriculum was divided in two parts, primary training and advance training and the following courses were to be taken: Military Courtesy and Courtesy, Hygiene, Military Administration, Rules and regulations of the Army, Customs of the Service, Infantry and Guard Services, Military Penal Laws and Code of Processing, Air Material Conservation, Aerodynamics, Parachutes, Telegraphy, Aircraft Instruments, International Air Regulations, Maps, Aircraft Alignment, Air Navigation, Air Tactic, Persecution and Attack, Meteorology, Armaments, Gun Sights and Synchronization of Guns, Bombarding, Bomb Sights, Bombs and Explosives, Sign Communication, Air Photography and Observation. This curriculum was updated and more material added as the technology advanced.
The prestige of the Cuban Air Corp was so, those aviation students from Panama,
Dominican Republic and Ecuador received grants to be trained in Cuba as pilots
during 1930 and 1931 and then become the nucleus of their infants Aviation Corp
in their countries. Among them the Dominican aviators Captain Anibal Vallejo,
1st Lt Frank A Feliz Miranda, and the mechanics Gregorio Peguero, Ernesto Tejada
Matos y Andres Rodriguez. Féliz Miranda that received his graduate diplom
from the hands of the President Machado, is considered today precursor of the
Dominican military aviation.
Curtiss F11C Hawk II, that arrive in 1932
The events of Gibara
Therefore, the revolutionary invasion of Gibara in Oriente Province was defeated by the effective use of the Air Corp, even after losing of 3 airplanes, 2 Corsairs and 1 P-6S, due to the ground fire from the invaders. Took part on the effort the Corsairs aircraft numbered 16-17-26-28-32-33.
Others activities of this period