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LIEUTENANT T. DeW. MILLING, U.S.A., In the Uniform of a Cadet at West Point.  [[/caption]]
Lieutenant T. D. Milling, the daring young aviator who is to fly the American machine in the international race for the Gordon Bennett cup in early September, was very timid as a little fellow, according to his father, R. E. Milling, a member of one of the most prominent law firms in New Orleans.

Although young, Milling is, perhaps, the most skillful of the United States [[?]] aviators, he is just 25 years old.  He was born in Winnfield, Winn Paris, La.  There, among the friends of his early childhood, he was very shy, but when his father moved to Franklin, in 1896, he developed into a fearless youngster.

"The boy was so shy when we lived in Winnfield that his older brother, R. C., used to tease him a good deal.  He was afraid to cross a creek on his pony.  But when we moved to Franklin, among strangers, a great change came over him.  He entered all of the bicycle and pony races.  He grew very fond of athletics, too, and was on all of the teams at the High School.  He developed the capacity of being able to rise to meet a great emergency under stress.  He had been such a timid little fellow that we were very much surprised.  When he told us good-by and started off to West Point, I said to his mother, 'If that boy is ever placed in a position where prompt and decisive action is required, he will certainly distinguish himself.'"

At West Point young Milling had the reputation of being a crack shot.  His fondness for horses led him to enter the cavalry service on graduation.  At Fort Leavenworth he was assigned to the quartermaster's department, and shortly afterwards was placed in charge of the commissary.  When the other officers were ordered to Texas for the military maneuvers he was very much [[?chagrined]] to find out that he would have to remain behind.  Gloom gave way to joy, however, when he received a telegram from Washington asking him if he would accept a position in the aeronautical service.  He answered in the affirmative, and when his family heard from him again he was at Dayton, Ohio.  He was very much surprised at his selection for the service, as he had not applied for the position, and there was a long list of applicants who were not chosen.  It was not until some time afterwards that he ascertained the reason for his appointment.  It seems that a member of the board in charge of the appointments had observed him [[incomplete]]

WELL how is the sky pilot this morning?" said a major of engineers to an officer of the First Aero Squadron at Texas City.

[[?]] replied the aviator, returning question for question.

"Why, Milling, of course," the engineer said.  "I never saw a bunch of people have such adoration for a man as you fellows over here in this aviation camp have for Milling.  What is the reason for it, anyway?"

"It isn't adoration, major, it is admiration, and the reason for it was well expressed by General Carter when he reported to the War Department that Lieutenant Million has become one of the foremost aviators of the world.  That is the reason," continued the member of the Aero Squadron, "that we swear by Milling and defer to his judgment when it comes to questions about flying.  We know that he knows.  Milling is a real aviator.

And the other members of Uncle Sam's small squad of army birdmen are just as enthusiastic in their praise of this young lieutenant, who is the greater flyer of them all.

Thomas DeWitt Milling, second lieutenant Fifteenth United States Cavalry, a native of Louisiana and a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, has had such a remarkably successful career as a military aviator that this sketch of his services to his country in that hazardous branch of the military service, together with an outline of the importance to the art of war of this newly developed "fourth arm" cannot fail to be of interest.  Progress made in the methods of warfare during recent decades finds the infantry, as always, "the queen of battles."  The field artillery is greatly improved in weapons and in the manner of using them, the indirect fire which this arm now employs increasing its effectiveness as the "infantry's most powerful ally."  The old days of the cavalry charge are by many conceded to have become a part of the past, but the great mobility of the mounted troops, together with their function as the "eyes and ears" of a military force, make the cavalry one of the most important auxiliary branches and an absolutely indispensable ally for the great "backbone of the army"—the infantry.

The new "fourth arm," the Aero Squadrons—what is their function to be?  Will they spread destruction and terror among troops on land and fleets on the sea by dropping explosives or [[incomplete]]

[[?cers]] is at College Park, Maryland, near Washington.  In the winter months this school is moved down to Augusta, Ga., on account of the better atmospheric conditions found there during that time.  The only other army aviation school in the United States is at San Diego, Cal.  As yet very little aviation work has been done in the Philippines, but Captain C. DeF. Chandler, Signal Corps. formerly in charge of the College Park School, recently left for Manila to organize a school in the islands.

When the Second Division of the Mobile Army was concentrated in the camps at Galveston and Texas City last February, under the command of Major General William H. Carter, U.S.A., the establishment at College Park was organized into the First Aero Squadron and attached to General Carter's division.  Orders issued from Washington early in June transferred almost all of this squadron to San Diego.  The field at Texas City is small and makes rising and landing difficult and more or less dangerous.  The dangers incident to alighting in a too-restricted field were well but unfortunately illustrated by the wrecked machine of the French aviator, Mestache, when he tried to land in the Louisiana State University football field after flying with the mail from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, April 10, 1912.

Aviation in our small army is in its infancy.  There are at present eighteen officers detailed for aerial duty.  Two of these officers are in the Philippines, three remain with the second division at Texas City, and the remainder are at, or en route to, San Diego.  The United States ranks fourteenth among the world's nations int he number of aeroplanes owned by the various governments.  However, with the limited means available the progress in military aviation has been excellent.  No one person has contributed to this progress in greater degree than has Lieutenant Milling.  Justly may Louisiana pride herself in his achievements.

Lieutenant T. De Witt Milling, a son of Hon. R. E. Milling, of this city, was born July 31, 1887, at Winnfield, La.  Appointed to West Point in 1905, young Milling graduated well up in his class  in 1909, and was assigned as second lieutenant to the Fifteenth United States Cavalry, stationed at Fort Meyer, just across the Potomac River from Washington City.  In May, 1911, he was detailed for aviation duty and ordered to Dayton, Ohio, where at the [[?][[incomplete]]]

held on Long Island, where he again distinguished himself by carrying off the prize for a record flight of two hours, carrying two passengers—soldiers of the Twenty-ninth United States Infantry.  This award consisted of $1,000 and the handsome Wanamaker trophy.  At these meets Milling was on leave of absence from the army, and was flying as a private individual.  The experience he gained was of course very valuable to the government.  It goes without saying that the rizes came in very "handy" toward defraying the expenses and costs of royalties, which were heavy, and providing some slight compensation for the risks undergone.

Until a few months ago officers detailed for aviation duty received no extra pay for their hazardous service.  Volunteers for this dangerous work have nevertheless been plentiful in spite of the well-filled list of fatal casualties.  It is to be expected that where the interests of the country and the good of the service are involved the army will always stand ready to obey the call, and these expectations have not met with disappointment.  But members of Congress, recognizing the dangers incident by service on aviation duty, have endeavored to provide some increase of pay for those engaged in it.  At the last session laws were enacted giving a slight increase to those officers actually flying.  No extra pay is granted during the time they are learning to fly, which, of course, is the most dangerous period of an aviator's career.  Representative Hay, of Virginia, chairman of the House committee on military affairs, is very much interested in the formation of an adequate aero service for the army, and has introduced a bill in Congress providing for a separate "aviation corps," to be composed of one major, who shall be commandant of the corps;  two captains, and not to exceed thirty first lieutenants, all to be detailed from among officers of the army of the same or next lower grade.  The secretary of war will be authorized to detail the necessary number of enlisted men.  Those who participate in aerial flights will receive 50 per cent increase of pay, and in case of death by accident the widow or other heirs will be given a year's pay at the rate the deceased officer or enlisted man was drawing.  No less than ten officers and enlisted men of our army have paid the price of progress in aerial navigation with their lives.  There is every reason for believing that this bill will pass.  That its pasage will materially increase the efficiency of the aviation service is certain.

After spending the winter of 1911-12 at the Augusta, Ga., instruction camp the aviation school returned to College Park in April, and Lieutenant Milling and Lieutenant Henry H. Arnold, Twenty-ninth Infantry, were [[incomplete]]

the vital area.  As Lieutenant Milling expressed it:  "A chance shot might get you if they could afford to waste a lot of ammunition to fire at you, but this would be of little value to the enemy if we had a fleet of twenty or thirty machines.  It would be about the same as shooting ducks with a rifle–that's the whole thing."

Although no attractive prizes were attached to the accomplishment and no throng of interested spectators were present as at the great aviation meets in Boston and New York, where Lieutenant Milling so distinguished himself, undoubtedly his greatest feat as an aviator was his flight from Texas City to San Antonio, on March 28, and return on March 31.  Lieutenant William C. Sherman, Corps of Engineers, U.S.A., accompanied Lieutenant Milling as passenger and observer.  The best description of this record-making trip can be had in the following report submitted by the officers, and the indorsements thereon:


First Aero Squadron, Texas City, Tex., April 1, 1913.

From:  Second Lieutenant T. DeW. Milling and William C. Sherman, First Aero Squadron, Texas City, Tex.  To:  Chief signal officer of the Army.  Subject:  Report on trip from Texas City, Tex., to San Antonio, Tex., and return, in Burgess-Wright tractor, biplane No. 9.

First–In going from Texas City to [[incomplete]]

weakness of one skid and the return was postponed until March 31.  The start was made on this date at 1:29 p.m. in a south-southeast wind of twenty miles per hour, which afterwards shifted into south.  The route followed was the same as in going over, and the landing was made at Texas City at 5:17 p.m.  The total time in the air was three hours fifty-seven minutes; the average velocity fifty-six miles an hour.

Second—The country from Texas City to Eagle Lake is flat and covered with saw grass.  It is practically treeless, except for belts of a few hundred yards in width along the banks of rivers.  From Eagle Lake to San Antonio there are forests with cultivated areas interspersed.  The country becomes rolling just east of San Antonio.  On both trips extremely rough air was encountered over the forested country.  On the return trip the temperature was very high and a great deal of difficulty was experienced with up and down trends.  The latter predominated, and, combined with the gusts, made climbing very difficult.  The machine was dropped, on one occasion, about six hundred feet, and it was frequently necessary to drive it fifty to one hundred feet, when one wing dropped, to gain equilibrium.  From Columbus to Bernard the gusts were moderate, but increased in strength there, and continued until we were within ten miles of the coast, where they again moderated.  Some of the severest gusts occurred over the country that was absolutely flat, and following a period of comparative calm.  It is believed that these were due to the action of the sun on the moist ground below, as they were particularly noticeable in the vicinity of marshy lands.  One gust was so strong as to tear away the right accessory plane between the main planes.  It struck the upper plane, slightly tearing the cloth, but as its chief function is the prevention of skidding, this interefered in no way with the control of the machine.

Third–On the return trip Lieutenant Sherman carried a cavalry sketching case for notes and sketches.  A rough sketch was attempted.  For orientation the board was held parallel to the sides of the fuselage and the compass bearing of the machine noted.  A time scale was used.  It is believed that after some experience a sketch can be made by this method, of sufficient accuracy to fulfil the requirements of a strategic reconnoissance, and locate the larger units of the enemy.  This is particularly the case where it may afterward be compared with and corrected by a smaller scale map.  The sketch made is sent herewith without any attempt at connecting it up.

Fourth–The return trip demonstrated anew the necessity for having excess power.  Our specifications seem severe and would insure sufficient power under ideal weather conditions.  But with a heavily laden machine and rough weather—the condition we might normally find in war—the [[?ent]] excess of power is insufficient.  Though constantly [[incomplete]]

45 gallons of gas and the same amount of oil was taken.  About 37 gallons were consumed.  The oil supply was ample for the trip.  With a full supply of oil and gas, the machine can be flown five hours without replenishing either.

Eighth—There are attached hereto barograph records of btoh trips, with a sketch of the route followed.

Second Lieutenant, Fifteenth Cavalry.
Second Lieutenant, Corps of Engineers.

First Ind. Hdqrs. First Aero Squadron, Texas City, Tex., April 3, 1913.  To the C. S. O. of the army, through commanding general Second Division, Texas City, Tex.

Attention is invited to the fact that in making this trip these officers have established a new American endurance record for pilot and one passenger, and a new American distance record for pilot and one passenger.  The world's distance record for pilot and one passenger is 249.4 miles, made in a measured course over Salisbury Plain, England.  These officers flew 224 miles cross-country and then remained in the air another hour, so that they undoubtedly exceeded the world's record for total distance covered.  The world's endurance record is four hours and thirty-four minutes, only twelve minutes more than the record made by Lieutenants Milling and Sherman.

This would have been considered a remarkable performance under the most favorable conditions, but when the barograph record is examined and the fact that the trip was made over unknown country is taken into consideration, this performance must be acknowledged as a most remarkable demonstration of courage and skill in handing aeronautical craft.

The map made by Lieutenant Sherman, while crude, really countains much information that would be of military value.  As a first effort it shows that this method of securing information has many possibilities.

The military value of being able to fly over unknown country for several hours at a time, covering hundreds of miles, must be obvious to anyone in the military service.

A. S. COWAN, Captain, Signal Corps.
Second Ind. Headquarters Second Division, Texas City, Tex., April 4, 1913.  To the A. G. O.

This flight was made under such weather conditions that I would not have ordered the trip.  The results were most creditable and show Lieutenant Milling to have become one of the foremost aviators of the world.

Major General Commanding.

The foregoing is the official copy clipped from Army and Navy Journal.

In making the sketch of the country passed over Lieutenant Sherman used a time scale.  Knowing the speed of the Burgess tractor in calm weather it was only necessary to add or deduct for the rate the wind was blowing.  The observer's seat is just in front of the pilot's.

The possibilities of photography as [[incomplete]]
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