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On March 19, 1916 Eight American Curtiss "Jenny" planes take off in pursuit of Pancho Villa, the first United States air-combat mission in history.

The Curtiss Jenny became America's most famous World War I training airplane. Generally used for primary flight training, some Jennies were equipped with machine guns and bomb racks for advanced training.

The JN series began by combining the best features of the Curtiss "J" and "N" models. A 1915 version, the JN-3, supported Pershing's Punitive Expedition into Mexico in 1916, but the aircraft proved unsuitable for field operations. Curtiss improved the JN-3 and redesignated in the JN-4.

With America's entry into WWI on April 6, 1917, the Signal Corps ordered large quantities of JN-4s, and by the time production was terminated after the Armistice, more than 6,000 had been delivered, the majority of them JN-4Ds.

After WWI, the Army sold hundreds of surplus JN-4s to civilians. The airplane soon became the mainstay of the "barnstormers" of the 1920s, and many Jennies continued flying into the 1930s.

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