This M1912/1917 Pattern uniform coat was worn by William "Billy" Mitchell while serving with the United States Air Service during and immediately after World War I. Mitchell went on to become the commander of all United States air combat units during World War I. He is best known for his advocacy of air power and his aerial bombing experiment that sank the German battleship "Ostfriesland" in the Chesapeake Bay on July 18, 1921.
When the Navy Airship "U.S.S. Shenandoah" crashed on September 3, 1925, while passing through a thunderstorm killing 14 members of the crew, Mitchell blamed the disaster on the incompetence of Army and Naval leadership. For these statements, Mitchell was court martialed and found guilty of insubordination. He resigned from the military on February 1, 1926.
Donated by Mrs. Thomas Byrd
Country of Origin: United States of America
Clothing: 86.4 x 61 x 5.1cm (34 x 24 x 2 in.)
Buttons and Insignia: Brass
United States Army Air Service (USAAS) Type M1912/1917 uniform coat worn by Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell; single breasted drab wool with five brass buttons down; two upper and two lower patch pockets with brass buttoned flap; stiff or "choker" collar; single drab officer's lace on each cuff; epaulets with one star Brigadier General rank insignia; brass "U.S." and Air Service winged propeller insignia on collar; three gold wire overseas service chevrons on right cuff; medal ribbon bars over left breast pocket ((Row 1: Distinguished Service Cross, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Spanish War Service, Philipine Campaign. Row 2: Cuban Occupation, Cuban Pacification 1906-1909, Mexican Campaign 1911-1917, World War I Victory with 5 campaign stars. Row 3 French Legion of Honour, French Croix de Guerre with 5 Palm Leaves, British Order of St. Michael and St. George, Order of the Condor of the Andes. Row 4: UNIDENTIFIED, UNIDENTIFIED).