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The history of the 99th Aero Squadron would not be complete unless the following information is included about the origin of the unit before the US entry in WWI. The 99th was formed as a part of the 9th Calvary when they were deployed after Pancho Villa in 1916 along the Texas/New Mexico border. The 99th adopted the buffalo from the "Buffalo Soldiers" of the 9th Calvary. In 1917 the unit was formed as part of the Allied Expeditionary Force to deploy to Europe with other aviation units such as the 94th, 95th and 96th Aero Squadrons. My grandfather Floyd E. Bland was a mechanic in the 99th Aero Squadron in 1917. The aircraft were Standards, the same ones used by General Pershing as reconnaissance aircraft in Texas and New Mexico the year before. I have a photograph of the pilots and another one of the complete unit taken at Treasure Island near San Francisco, California in 1917. My grandfather is in the photo. All of the members of the 99th during this time were white, the unit supported the 9th Calvary which was African American. After the Armistice in 1918 the unit was disbanded. It was reformed in 1941 in Rantoul Illinois as the first all black aviation unit.