Domingo Rosillo
A recent picture of Domingo Rosillo of Cuba
who passed away in November, 1957
From CHIRP, 1957

     If you search for "Domingo Rosillo +aviation", using the Google search engine, (10-23-03), you will find about 50 links. Among the most helpful are the following.
by Captain Manuel Churches Ramírez and
Captain Esteban L. Bobo Carás

April 20, 1920, Agustín Parla Orduña was graduated as a pilot from the Curtiss School in Miami, Florida. A little later, on October 22 of the same year, Domingo Rosillo del Toro was graduated as a pilot in Paris, France. After a flight from Key West to Havana in a Morane-Saulnier monoplane, on May 17, 1913, followed by the flight of Augustín Parla Orduña one day later on May 19, from Key West to Mariel and Havana, Rosillo was recognized as a Captain in the Cuban Armed Forces.
     The first aeroplane which was obtained by the Cuban Military was a Curtiss model FS, purchased in the spring of 1913. Later in August of the same year, Augustín Parla was named as Chief of Instructors of the recently established Army Air Corp. In the following year, on February 23 of 1914, Jaime González, trying to land in Cienfuegos, hit a power pole partially destroying the aeroplane, this being the first accident of Cuban aviation.
     In March of 1915, by order of the Military Commission of the House of Representatives of the Cuban Congress, the Air Force was created as an auxiliary of the Cuban Army with three Second Lieutenants.
     On October 19, 1915, Jaime González Grocier was commissioned as honorary Captain and his Morane-Saulnier aeroplane, which had previously been the property of Agustín Parla, was converted into the second Cuban Military Aeroplane.
     General José Martí, Chief of the Cuban Army, sent Parla to the Curtiss factory in Buffalo, New York to study the use of the hydroaeroplane with the view to establishing an aviation school for the Cuban Officials.
Editor's Note:
This brief excerpt from the extensive and comprehensive article on the
History of the Cuban Air Force is reproduced through the courtesy of
Israel Maya, founder of
If you wish to read the whole story, in Spanish, click on the title
To visit the NoCastro site itself, click on "NoCastro."

por Capitanes Manuel Iglesias Ramírez y
Esteban L Bovo Carás

El día 20 de Abril de 1912, se gradúa como piloto aviador en la Escuela Curtiss en Miami, Estados Unidos, Agustín Parla Orduña y más adelante el 22 de Octubre del mismo año se gradúa Domingo Rosillo del Toro como piloto aviador en París, Francia
     Después del vuelo de Cayo Hueso a La Habana de Domingo Rosillo del Toro, en un avión monoplano Morane-Saulnier, el 17 de Mayo de 1913, seguido del vuelo de Agustín Parla Orduña, unos días más tarde, el 19 de Mayo, volando de Cayo Hueso al Mariel y a la Habana Rosillo fué reconocido como Capitán en las Fuerzas Armadas Cubanas.
     El primer avión que obtuvo la aviación militar cubana fué, un Curtiss modelo FS, comprado en la primavera de 1913 y más tarde en Agosto del mismo año, se nombro a Agustín Parla, como Jefe de Instructores, del recién nacido Cuerpo Aéreo del Ejército. Al año siguiente el 23 de Febrero de 1914 Jaime González, tratando de aterrizar a eso de las 18:20 en Cienfuegos y darle a un poste eléctrico, parcialmente destrozando el avión, siendo este el primer accidente de la aviación cubana.
     En Marzo de 1915, se creó por orden de la Comisión Militar de la Cámara de Representantes del Congreso de Cuba, el Cuerpo de Aviación como un cuerpo auxiliar del Ejército de Cuba, con tres Segundos Tenientes.
     El 19 de Octubre de 1915, se comisionó con el grado de Capitán honorario a Jaime González Grocier y su avión un Morane-Saulnier que anteriormente había sido propiedad de Agustín Parla, se convirtió en el segundo avión militar cubano.
     El General José Martí, Jefe del Ejército cubano, envió a Parla a la factoría Curtiss en Buffalo, New York para estudiar el uso del hidroavión, con vistas a establecer una escuela de aviación para los oficiales cubanos.

And More Yet!, 1938

     Domingo Rosillo sports an Aero Club de France FAI certificate dated October 22, 1912. Though a Cuban citizen, he was born at Oran, Algeria, in 1878 and soloed on a Morane-Saulnier at Villacoublay. He established a new altitude record in Havana in April the following year and in May made the first flight from Key West to Havana, May 17, 1913. He also claims first mail-carriership in Cuba in 1914.
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir

       Domingo Rosillo passed away in his homeland of Cuba on November 28, 1957. He was the first Cuban to obtain a pilot's license from the Federation Aeronautic Internationale (in 1912), and was the first pilot to accomplish the flight from Key West, Florida to Havana, Cuba; also the first Air Mail pilot in Cuba.
     Going to Spain in 1916 he became a flight instructor and then dean of the Aviation School in Barcelona, and in 1919 became test pilot for the first Spanish airplane factory. He was likewise the winner of many flight contests.
     Returning to Cuba in 1937, he was for several years the Secretary of the National Academy of Civil Aviation and Air Reserve. He received the highest decorations of the Republic of Cuba and his effigy appears in the Jewel of the National Order of Merit of Civil Aviation of the Republic of Cuba.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, April, 1958, Number 59
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