The Red Skull Legion is believed to be the first organized pirate group formed in North America. While smaller, disorganized bands of airborne criminals plied their trade prior to the Legions formation, the Red Skulls were the first truly successful sky pirates. Formed by Jonathan "Ghengis" Kahn (with funding from the infamous Purple Gang), the Red Skull Legion first captured public attention with a daring raid in Utah in 1931.
Kahn and the Legion entered Utah, escorting a zeppelin that the pirates claimed was loaded with Mormon refugees from the ISA. (The zeppelin was, in fact, a Trojan Horse, filled with armed pirates.) Once past the border defenses, the pirates aboard the zeppelin disembarked and seized a nearby airbase. At the same time, Legion pilots hammered the local militia, holding them off long enough for the Skulls on the ground to accomplish their mission: the capture of Utahs flagship military zeppelin, the Moroni.
After withdrawing with the Moroni, Kahn had the Red Skull plains repainted to match the appearance of Utah militia. Moving into the Peoples Collective, the Skulls launched a deadly spree of raids, neatly pinning the blame on neighboring Utah. After nearly starting a Utah-Peoples Collective war, the Red Skulls returned to the ISA in triumph.
Since returning to the ISA, the Red Skulls typically prey only on soft but valuable targets: luxury passenger airships, bullion convoys, and so on. The Legion based in Chicago -- is surprisingly far-ranging, launching strikes throughout North America, including their home nation, the ISA. (Raids within the Industrial States are frequently against new, weaker pirate bands. While other pirate gangs operate out of the ISA, most of them formed at the same time as the Red Skull Legion or have been granted letters of marque; Kahn wisely chooses not to interfere with such groups.)