Billy Mitchell: Introduction (01:49)
Mitchell was born into a family of wealth and influence but chose the military as a way of life. His career collapsed after accusations against the military and civilian command. He earned a court martial and a Medal of Honor.
Mitchell's Industry (03:07)
Mitchell enlisted in the Army to fight in the Spanish American War and received a promotion in 1901 that sent him on a series of assignments. He was impressed with the potential of flight and he took flying lessons in 1915. Mitchell became head of the Army's Aviation Section.
U.S. Enters WWI (03:16)
By 1917, American volunteers flew with the French Army. The U.S. entered the war in April and began building airplanes. Mitchell gained command of U.S. air forces and launched patrols against German aircraft in 1918.
Battle of Saint-Mihiel (02:18)
In summer 1918, Mitchell launched planes against the German assault on the French/American line; he was promoted to brigadier general. Mitchell drew up plans for parachuting infantry units that were tested a year later.
Military Aviation Need (04:06)
Many called for the elimination of the Army and Navy after WWI; some flyers began barnstorming. Mitchell returned to the War Department and championed the need for air power. In 1921, Mitchell's planes attacked and sank mothballed ships.
Air Power Display (01:55)
In 1921, Mitchell led bombers against the SMS Ostfriesland and US Alabama, sinking both.
Mitchell's Divide with the Military (02:28)
In 1925, Mitchell was reverted to colonel and transferred to Kelly Field as air officer. Mitchell released a statement after two air disasters, accusing the defense administration of negligence and incompetence and received a court-martial; hear testimony from his trial.
Mitchell's Legacy (02:53)
Mitchell was found guilty of insubordination and resigned. He campaigned for a separate air force and unified command until his death in 1936. Jimmy Doolittle led the first aerial assault against Japan; Mitchell received the rank of major general and posthumously.
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Billy Mitchell (00:36)
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Billy Mitchell
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