Billy Mitchell : An American Hero

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The name Billy Mitchell brings many images to mind. To most, he is an American hero and considered to be one of the most influential figures regarding the creation of the modern Air Force. He was a successful aviator in his own right. What many do not know is that his ideas for the future of air power for the United States military were considered insane. Mitchell was a staunch proponent for an investment in air power as he deemed it was the future of warfare, a vision he would eventually be praised for. During his time, however, his views were considered preposterous as the focus was on battle ships and other naval vessels deemed necessary for war. He was seen as egotistical as he dismantled the opinions of anyone who opposed him. His statements and arguments against his superior officers eventually led to his court martial and resignation from the military. Mitchell was recognized posthumously for his contributions to aerial warfare. William "Billy" Mitchell was born in Nice, France in 1879 to a U.S. Senator. He grew up in Wisconsin and enlisted in the Signal Corp in the U.S. Army at the age of 18. Due to his father 's influence in the government he quickly earned a commission as an officer. He served in Cuba, the Philippines, and Alaska until his eventual appointment to the general staff. At the time, he was the youngest member of the general staff at the age of 32. During this time, he became highly interested in aviation. He was one of the first people able to observe

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