William Mitchell Scrapbooks
Digitized Content

Collection ID:
bulk 1898-1920
Physical Description:
0.94 Cubic feet
(1 box)

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of scrapbooks belonging to Caroline S. Mitchell, relating to William Mitchell. The scrapbooks contain photos from the first two decades of Mitchell's military career, from 1898 through 1920. Although no photos cover the World War I period, there are a number of photographs relating to the periods just before and just afterward. The photos depict Signal Corps camps in Cuba, the Philippines (including the January 29, 1911 eruption of the Taal Volcano), and various U.S. locations; polo tournaments; horse tournaments; a few aviation tournaments; and Mitchell's children. The collection also includes Mitchell's original commissions in the United States Army Signal Corps.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Brigadier General William "Billy" Mitchell (1879-1936), pilot and aviation and aerial bombing advocate, joined the army as a private and, by the Spanish-American War, was the youngest lieutenant involved in the operation. Mitchell saw service in the Philippines, Cuba, and on the Mexican border, and graduated from the Army School of the Line (1908) and Army Staff College (1909) before serving on the Army General Staff (1913-1916). He held a number of command and staff posts in the Air Service in France during World War I (1917-1919) and first soloed in 1917. After a short period as Director of Military Aeronautics (1919) and Chief of Training and Operations (1920), he became Assistant to the Chief of Air Service (1921-1926). During this period he advocated the creation of an independent Air Service and demonstrated the utility of air power through the famous bomber vs. battleship trials (1921), the group flight to Alaska from the continental US (1923), and Army's Around the World Flight (1924). Unfortunately, Mitchell's public criticism of government policies, in defiance of Army regulations, resulted in his court martial for conduct prejudicial of "good order and military discipline" and insubordination in October-December 1925. Found guilty and suspended for five years, Mitchell resigned his commission in January 1926. He continued to promote aviation and decry government inefficiencies until his death.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Caroline S. Mitchell, Gift, Unknown

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access.
Preferred Citation
William Mitchell Scrapbooks, Accession XXXX-0331, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics, Military Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mitchell, William, 1879-1936 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Army. Air Service Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Army. Signal Corps Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151