the father of American Aviation
Encyclopedia Britannica, Edition 1986,
Micropedia, Volume 8, page 195
Mitchell, William, byname
(Born Dec. 29, 1879, Nice Fr.,
died Feb. 19, 1936, New York City)
U.S. Army officer who early advocated
a separate U.S. air force and preparedness in military aviation. He was
court-martialled for his outspoken views and did not live to see the fulfillment
during World War II of many of his prophecies...
...In 1915 he was assigned to
the aviation section of the signal corps, and during WorlaWar I he became
the outstanding U.S. combat air commander. In September 1918 he commanded
a French-U.S. air armada of almost 1,500 planes - the largest concentration
of air power up to that time...
After the war Mitchell was appointed
assistant chief of the air service. He became a strong proponent of an
independent air force and of unified control of air power, both of which
were opposed by the army general staff and the navy... The climax came
in September 1925, when the loss of the navy dirigible "Shenandoah"
in a storm inspired [Mr. Mitchell] publicly to accuse the War and Navy
departments of "incopetency, criminal neglegence, and almost treasonable
administration of the national defense." In December an army court-marchal
convicted him of insubordination. Sentenced to suspension from rank and
duty for five years, he resigned from the army (Feb. 1, 1926).
Mitchell was awarded many decorations and honours during his lifetime,
and in 1946 the U.S. Congress authorized a special medal
in his honour. It was presented
to his son in 1948 by the chief of staff of the newly created U.S. Air
Bibiograhpy after the article
mentiones also a book by Ruth Mitchell: "My
Brother Bill, the life of General "Billy" Mitchel".
[ Sister Ruth Mitchell: "The Serbs choose war" ]
of the first Yugoslavia ]
most catastrophic mistake ]
during WWII ]
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Last revised: Nov. 26, 1997