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Uruguay Air Force - History

On March 17, 1913, with a simple ceremony that consisted of the reading of General Order No. 1155 of the General Staff of the Army, issued by the Ministry of War and Navy, was inaugurated the School of Aviation Military, in a paddock of Estancia Santo Domingo, today Military Field No. 1 of the Army, near Los Cerrillos, Department of Canelones.

This event took place, after a series of events and aeronautical events took place during the year 1912, which motivated the government that in that period was presided over by Mr. Jos Batlle y Ordez, to be contracted at the beginning of 1913, when still Not ten years had passed since the first successful experiences of aviation, the French aviator Mr. Marcel Paillette, founder and instructor of the Military School of Aviation of El Palomar, Buenos Aires.

Thus, modestly, was born the School of Military Aviation, beginning in this way the aeronautical activities in the country, in that first aerodrome that existed in Uruguay, remembered today by a great stele of granite that inaugurated the Air Force in the Military Field No. 1.

This important milestone in the annals of our aviation was taken since it was established in 1951, as the most transcendental ephemeris in the institutional history of the Air Force.

At that time we were still the Military Aeronautics and we were part of the Army, whose Inspector General was the remembered pioneer aviator, General Don Oscar Diego Gestido.

A hundred years ago, a handful of ten intrepid young Army Officers met in the aforementioned estancia, called by the General Order, as students of the Military Aviation School, in order to learn to fly, starting the instructor Monsieur Paillette, on that 17th of March, to the adaptation and training of his disciples and these, to the great adventure that meant enrolling among the first men who accepted in Uruguay.

This was the great challenge of wanting to be aviators, in those distant years of the birth of "aerial locomotion" (as it was called), in a huge and primitive Farman type biplane, made of wood, cloth and wires, more like A big comet, than the idea we have today of an airplane, driven by a furious and capricious 50-horsepower rotary engine, airplane that had received the pompous name of "El guila", painted at its deep rudder, which To confuse us more, I was going forward.

It was the adventure itself, surrounded by that mystical halo of nascent aviation, who knows where it carried them whenever it was up to them to climb on that huge bird, without even a modest windshield.

The episodes and adventures that the novel School was involved in are known in those three short months that it had of life, between March and June of 1913, without having obtained for several reasons, its objective to finalize the course of piloting.

Only one student, Ensign Cesreo L. Berisso, managed to fly alone, outside the program, after the termination of the instructor's contract, on Sunday, June 22, 1913, in a gesture of rebellion and indiscipline, but heroic, that Took over Montevideo to land on the beach of Malvin, after an hour, forty-five minutes in the air, an act whose purpose was to demonstrate the advanced training, the authorities and public opinion, before the closure of the Institute, dealing with This will make it possible to renew the Paillette contract.

The apparent ephemeral existence of the School of Los Cerrillos was not such, because of the continuity of two of those ten young people, in whom the aeronautical vocation necessary to try to become aviators had been very strong in that experimental period Of the nascent conquest of the air; They were Lieutenant 1 Juan Manuel Boiso Lanza and Alf. Cesreo L. Berisso, unique of the initial group that later managed to receive in 1915 and 16 the brevet of pilot in Argentina and Chile, along with two other precursors: the Tte. 1st Adhemar Senz Lacueva and Alf. Esteban Cristi.

The four of them with the mechanic Mr. Paul Castaibert, founded in 1916 the Military School of Aviation, in an old tambo that they transformed into an aerodrome and that from 9 of September of 1930 happened to denominate Air Base "Cap. Juan Manuel Boiso Lanza ", where today the General Command of the Uruguayan Air Force stands.

In this way, one of the men of Los Cerrillos, Cap. Boiso Lanza, first director of the Military School of Aviation and first martyr of the Military Aviation, thanks to the initiative of his companion of 1913, General Aviador and Aeronauta Cesreo L. Berisso.

The names of both will be repeated over the years over and over again in much of our institutional history; The life of Boiso Lanza is decommissioned in 1918 near Pau, southern France, at the end of a combat training flight; The life of Berisso is another thing, it survives the heroic era of aeronautics, with the serious accidents that characterized it, after having crossed in elementary airplanes and in free balloon, the skies, not only of the River of the Silver, but of Much of America, including the United States, where in 1918 and 1919 also flew with heavier heavies and lighter than air, being considered there one of its best aviators.

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Page last modified: 25-05-2017 13:59:54 ZULU