Today, we continue our celebration of National Military Appreciation Month by remembering General Billy Mitchell, who helped lead the military’s development and use of airpower at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1999, the Postal Service honored General William “Billy” Mitchell (1879-1936) with a 55-cent stamp.
General Mitchell was a professional soldier who served as an infantryman in the Spanish-American War and went on to achieve greater fame as an outstanding U.S. combat air commander during World War I. Artist Paul Salmon’s oil-on-gesso painting is based on an early photograph of Mitchell. The foreground shows the SPAD XVI, which he used in observation and command roles during World War I.
In 1941, the North American B-25 Mitchell—a bomber used during World War II—was named after General Mitchell, a true pioneer of U.S. military aviation.