Brigadier General William Mitchell. An important figure in the development of military aviation, "Billy" Mitchell is regarded as the father of the U.S. Air Force. His criticism of Army and Navy leaders after the crash of the airship Shenandoah in 1925 led to a court-martial and subsequent resignation. His ideas were proven correct. He wrote on this picture: To Walter E. Lees in whose airplane I made my 1st "solo" flight. Wm. Mitchell Brig. Gen. Air Service
William "Billy" Mitchell (December 29, 1879 – February 19, 1936) Mitchell was one of the most famous and most controversial figures in the history of American military aviation. He commanded American air combat units in France during World War l and was appointed deputy director of the Air Service following the war. He believed that bombers should take the place of battleships and there should be a separate command for the Air Service.