Mitchell, William, 1879-1936

Alternative names
Birth 1879-12-29
Death 1936-02-19

Biographical notes:

William Mitchell began his military career during the Spanish American War, had demanding assignments in the Philippines and Alaska and then distinguished himself as a pilot in World War I. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and led almost 1,500 allied aircraft into the Saint-Mihiel offensive in France. Upon return to the United States he openly criticized his superiors for not being farsighted with regard to airpower, encouraging them to test bomb obsolete ships to prove his ideas about air attacks. The bombings took place but his superiors were not convinced, Mitchell was demoted from General to Colonel, and eventually was court-martialed. Rather than serve his sentence, he resigned his commission. As a civilian, Mitchell continued to advocate his ideas regarding the necessity of strategic airpower in future wars. Recognized after his death as having made major contributions to the U. S. Air Force, Mitchell was honored by having the only American military aircraft to be named after a specific person, the B-25 'Mitchell'; he was posthumously reauthorized to the rank of Major General, retired, by President Franklin Roosevelt; and the dining hall at the United States Air Force Academy was named after him.

From the description of William (Billy) Mitchell collection, 1917-1958. (US Air Force Academy). WorldCat record id: 244574988

Army officer, farmer, and author.

From the description of General William Mitchell Papers, 1907-1946. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81039567


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Ark ID:


  • Bombing, Aerial
  • Air power--History
  • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry
  • Trials (military offenses)
  • World War, 1914-1918--Personal narratives, American
  • World War, 1914-1918--Aerial operations
  • Aerial photography
  • Spanish--American War, 1898--Personal narratives, American
  • World War, 1914-1918--Aerial operations, American
  • Air power
  • Aeronautics--Military--History
  • Military doctrine--History
  • Air warfare--History
  • Telegraph--Construction
  • Aeronautics, Military--History--1920-1930


  • Authors
  • Army officers
  • Farmers


  • United States (as recorded)
  • Alaska (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Philippines (as recorded)
  • Langley Air Force Base (Va.) (as recorded)
  • Cuba (as recorded)