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FIRST FOREIGN AERIAL BOMBER

TOO DRUNK TO BOMB STRAIGHT: THE SAGA OF PATRICK MURPHY - THE FIRST FOREIGN AERIAL BOMBER


airplane logo on a pink adobe building
GAY 90S BAR - PATRICK MURPHY MURAL BY JULES MUCK

Welcome to an intriguing chapter in the annals of aerial warfare, spotlighting Patrick Murphy, a character as unlikely as any in the history of combat aviation. This is the story of the first foreign aerial bomber, whose escapades during the Mexican Revolution blend the lines between reckless adventure and historic warfare.



THE UNLIKELY BOMBER: PATRICK MURPHY'S ORIGINS

Patrick Murphy was far from your typical combatant. A civilian and an adventurous pilot, he owned a modest biplane, a machine never intended for the grim business of war. His recruitment by Pancho Villa, a figure legendary in the Mexican Revolution, set him on a path that would etch his name in history. Murphy's task was clear yet daunting: to drop homemade bombs on Mexican government soldiers stationed in Naco, Arizona.


A NIGHT OF REVELRY: THE ST. ELMO BAR EPISODE

The tale of Murphy's mission is steeped in an almost farcical recklessness. The night before the bombing, Murphy and his assistant found themselves at the St. Elmo Bar, indulging in copious amounts of liquor. This ill-advised binge, a misguided attempt to quell their nerves, led to a night of haphazard bomb-making and poorly laid plans. Their inebriated state did little to prepare them for the gravity of their upcoming mission.


CHAOS IN THE SKIES: THE BOMBING RUN

Murphy's bombing run was as erratic as it was historic. Attempting to light the bombs with cigarettes while aboard their unstable biplane, the duo's efforts were marred by Murphy's impaired piloting skills, reminiscent of a drunken sailor's shaky hands at the helm. The bombs, lacking any precision, fell randomly across the border, hitting unintended targets and causing unforeseen damage.


The Irony of Misfire

One of the most ironic moments of this haphazard mission was a bomb crashing through the roof of an American garage, only to destroy the car of a Mexican General who had thought it a safe haven.





THE END OF AN ERRATIC JOURNEY

Murphy's stint as an aerial bomber was as brief as it was chaotic. Crashing his biplane, he found his unexpected career in aerial warfare abruptly halted. Captured and sent to the Nogales Penitentiary, Murphy's actions, though far from commendable, marked a significant, albeit unconventional, moment in the history of aerial combat.


REMEMBERING MURPHY: THE TOUR AND THE TALE

Today, Patrick Murphy's story is recounted not with a sense of glorification but as a reminder of the bizarre and sometimes absurd turns in the history of warfare. Join us in Bisbee, Arizona, to delve into this unique chapter of history, where you can learn about Murphy's tumultuous journey and visit landmarks that preserve the memory of his extraordinary, albeit reckless, venture into the world of aerial bombing.

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