Collection Item Summary:
This 1895 Pattern uniform coat was worn by William "Billy" Mitchell while serving with the Signal Corps ca. 1910. 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.