Mitchell, William, 1879-1936

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William Lendrum Mitchell (December 29, 1879 – February 19, 1936) was a United States Army general who is regarded as the father of the United States Air Force.

Mitchell served in France during World War I and, by the conflict's end, commanded all American air combat units in that country. After the war, he was appointed deputy director of the Air Service and began advocating increased investment in air power, believing that this would prove vital in future wars. He argued particularly for the ability of bombers to sink battleships and organized a series of bombing runs against stationary ships designed to test the idea.

He antagonized many administrative leaders of the Army with his arguments and criticism and, in 1925, was returned from appointment as a brigadier general to his permanent rank of colonel due to his insubordination. Later that year, he was court-martialed for insubordination after accusing Army and Navy leaders of an "almost treasonable administration of the national defense" for investing in battleships instead of aircraft carriers. He resigned from the service shortly afterward.

Mitchell received many honors following his death, including a commission by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a major general. He is also the first person for whom an American military aircraft design, the North American B-25 Mitchell, is named. Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is also named after Mitchell.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Institute of Aerospace Sciences Archives, 1783-1962 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. WINGS FOR TOMORROW USAF ACADEMY National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Clark, J. J. (Joseph James), 1893-1971. Reminiscences of Joseph James Clark : oral history, 1962. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn George Sabin Gibbs Papers, 1896-1947 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn McClintic, James V., 1878-1948. Papers, 1910-1947. University of Oklahoma, Bizzell Memorial Library
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Motion Picture Films from the Army Library Copy Collection. 1964 - 1980. Military Armistice Commission Meeting, Panmunjom, Korea National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. AIRPLANES VS. BATTLESHIPS National Archives at College Park
referencedIn American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Institute of Aerospace Sciences archives, 1783-1962. Library of Congress
creatorOf Mitchell Family. Papers, 1863-1968. Library Council of Metropolitan Milwaukee
referencedIn Biography -- Mitchell, William. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
creatorOf Patterson, Joseph Medill, 1879-1946. Papers, 1901-1950. Lake Forest College, Donnelley and Lee Library
referencedIn Jay G. Hayden scrapbooks, 1916-1965 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
creatorOf Mitchell, William, 1879-1936. Photographs, 1921. William & Mary Libraries
creatorOf Mitchell, William, 1879-1936. Alaskan pictures taken by Captain William Mitchell, Signal Corps. National Geographic Society Library
referencedIn Elmo N. Pickerill Papers, 1910-1975 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn O'Laughlin, John Callan, 1873-1949. Papers of John Callan O'Laughlin, 1895-1949. Library of Congress
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ACTIVITIES OF THE 94Th AERO SQUADRON National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. MILITARY EQUIPMENT DELIVERED TO ALLIES BY GERMANS UNDER TERMS OF ARMISTICE National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Wheeler, F. W. Trude R. Wiehe. Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee County Federated Library System
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. FAREWELL BARBECUE FOR GENERAL BILLY MITCHELL National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Mitchell, William, 1879-1936. Acme. Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee County Federated Library System
referencedIn Arnold, Eleanor Pool, d. 1978. Reminiscences of Eleanor Pool Arnold : oral history, 1959. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Mitchell, William, 1879-1936. William (Billy) Mitchell collection, 1917-1958. US Air Force Academy, McDermott Library
referencedIn Gibbs, George Sabin, 1875-1947. George Sabin Gibbs papers, 1896-1947. Library of Congress
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. BOMBING 1921 National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF AIR FORCE ACADEMY National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Pickerill, Elmo N. (Elmo Neale), 1885-1968. Elmo N. Pickerill papers, 1910-1975. Library of Congress
referencedIn Louis C. Cramton Papers, ca. 1865-1966, 1916-1965 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Victory, John Francis, 1892-. Reminiscences of John Francis Victory : oral history, 1970. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn L’Aerophile Collection, 1876-1949, (1893-1949) Science, Technology, & Business Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Doolittle, James Harold, 1896-1993. Reminiscences of James Harold Doolittle : oral history, 1973. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Allen, Mary Moore. Pamphlet, 1952. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. NEWSREEL CLIPS National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Mitchell, John L. (John Lendrum), 1842-1904. Mitchell family papers, 1847-1923. University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, UWM Libraries
referencedIn Eaker, Ira, 1896-1987. Reminiscences of Ira Clarence Eaker : oral history, 1959. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Greely, A. W. (Adolphus Washington), 1844-1935. A.W. Greely papers, 1753-1959 (bulk 1880-1935). Library of Congress
referencedIn Carpenter, Ford A. (Ford Ashman), b. 1868. Ford A. Carpenter papers, 1935-1944. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn Hardie, George, 1912-2001. George Hardie papers, 1880-2001. University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, UWM Libraries
creatorOf Cramton, Louis C. (Louis Convers), b. 1875. Louis Convers Cramton papers, 1896-1966. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Aviation project : oral history, 1961. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Mitchell, William, 1879-1936. Plans and recommendations submitted to the Morrow Commission of Inquiry. U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center
referencedIn Fullam, William F. (William Freeland), 1855-1926. Papers of William F. Fullam, 1877-1919. Library of Congress
referencedIn Hoard, Halbert L. (Halbert Louis), 1861-1933. Halbert L. Hoard papers, 1872-1933. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. Aviation Activities in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Johnson, Alfred W., (Alfred Wilkinson). Papers, 1918-1967. Operational Archive Branch, Naval History Center
referencedIn Montgomery, John Kenly, 1896-1943. John Kenly Montgomery papers, 1921-1974. University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
referencedIn A. W. Greely Papers, 1753-1997, (bulk 1880-1935) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn John Callan O'Laughlin Papers, 1895-1949 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn San Francisco earthquake photograph collection. U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center
creatorOf Davidson, James, of Halltree. Mary B. Mitchell. Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee County Federated Library System
referencedIn Carl Spaatz Papers, 1910-1981, (bulk 1942-1963) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Grover Cleveland Loening Papers, 1900-1975, (bulk 1913-1962) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn William F. Fullam Papers, 1873-1942, (bulk 1906-1922) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ARMY AIR CORPS NEWS CLIPS FROM 1939 NEWSREELS National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Studler, Rene.́. The Rene ́Studler papers 1917-1974 U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. AERIAL BOMBING TESTS OF WATERCRAFT National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Mitchell, William, 1879-1936. Correspondence [microform], 1888-1922, 1927, undated. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Spaatz, Carl, 1891-1974. Carl Spaatz papers, 1910-1981 (bulk 1942-1963). Library of Congress
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. FIFTEENTH REPUBLIC OF KOREA ARMED FORCES DAY National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. BOMBING THE USS VIRGINIA AND NEW JERSEY National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Loening, Grover, 1888-1976. Grover Cleveland Loening papers, 1900-1975 (bulk 1913-1962). Library of Congress
referencedIn Greene, Stanley, 1887-1968. Stanley Greene collection, 1918-1920. Thomas Balch Library
referencedIn McClintic, James V., 1878-1948. Congressional papers, 1910-1947. University of Oklahoma, Bizzell Memorial Library
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. SINKING FRANKFURT National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Mitchell, William, 1879-1936. General William Mitchell Papers, 1907-1946. Library of Congress
referencedIn The Personal Collection of Maj. George E.A. Hallett, Bulk, 1914-1958, 1911-1982 San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
referencedIn Ford A. Carpenter Papers, 1935 - 1944 Mandeville Special Collections Library
Relation Name
associatedWith Allen, Mary Moore. person
associatedWith American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. corporateBody
associatedWith Arnold, Eleanor Pool, d. 1978. person
associatedWith Carpenter, Ford A. (Ford Ashman), b. 1868. person
associatedWith Clark, J. J. (Joseph James), 1893-1971. person
associatedWith Cramton, Louis C. (Louis Convers), b. 1875. person
associatedWith Doolittle, James Harold, 1896-1993. person
associatedWith Eaker, Ira, 1896-1987. person
associatedWith Fullam, William F. (William Freeland), 1855-1926. person
correspondedWith Gibbs, George Sabin, 1875-1947. person
correspondedWith Greely, A. W. (Adolphus Washington), 1844-1935. person
associatedWith Greene, Stanley, 1887-1968. person
associatedWith Hardie, George, 1912-2001. person
associatedWith Hayden, Jay G., 1884-1971 person
associatedWith Hoard, Halbert L. (Halbert Louis), 1861-1933. person
associatedWith Johnson, Alfred W., (Alfred Wilkinson) person
correspondedWith Loening, Grover, 1888-1976. person
associatedWith McClintic, James V., 1878-1948. person
associatedWith Mitchell Family. family
associatedWith Mitchell, John L. (John Lendrum), 1842-1904. person
correspondedWith Montgomery, John Kenly, 1896-1943. person
associatedWith O'Laughlin, John Callan, 1873-1949. person
associatedWith Patterson, Joseph Medill, 1879-1946. person
associatedWith Pickerill, Elmo N. (Elmo Neale), 1885-1968. person
associatedWith Racine College (Wis.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Spaatz, Carl, 1891-1974. person
associatedWith Studler, Rene.́ person
memberOf United States. Army corporateBody
memberOf United States. Army Air Corps corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Air Service. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Signal Corps. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Signal Corps. Aviation Section. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of the Army. General Staff. corporateBody
associatedWith Victory, John Francis, 1892- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Nice B8 FR
New York City NY US
Subject
Courts-martial and courts of inquiry
Military doctrine
Spanish
Telegraph
Trials (Military offenses)
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1914-1918
Bombing, Aerial
Aerial photography
Aeronautics
Aeronautics, Military
Air power
Air power
Air warfare
Occupation
Army officers
Authors
Aviators
Farmers
Military art and science
Activity

Person

Birth 1879-12-29

Death 1936-02-19

Male

Americans

English

Information

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Ark ID: w6k936v1

SNAC ID: 45595937