This uniform coat was worn by William "Billy" Mitchell while serving with the United States Air Service following World War I and features the drop fall collar. 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
United States Army Air Service (USAAS) tan gabardine wool service coat worn by Billy Mitchell; single breasted coat with drop collar; 4 brass buttons down front with embossed United States Eagle Crest; 4 button flap pockets; 14 medal ribbons (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); Military Aviator (gold wire wings and shield surmounted by a five point star on black felt); U.S. Air Service insignia on collar (silver wire winged propeller and "U.S." on tan gabardine) on each collar lapel; silver Colonel rank insignia on each epaulet; service stripes on each cuff.