Synonymous with military aviation during the 1920s, Mitchell was a ceaseless proponent of the strategic and tactical importance of air power.
He advocated the creation of a separate air force.

October 2010

Compiled by Bibliography Branch
Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center
Maxwell AFB, AL


The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Air Force of this Web site or the information, products, or services contained therein.  For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and morale, welfare and recreation sites, the U.S. Air Force does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.  Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD Web site. 

Some articles listed below require access to subscription databases.  If you cannot gain access, contact your local library for availability.  AU students and faculty can contact the Center's Web Maintainer for a password.

All sites listed were last accessed October 18, 2010.

Internet Resources

Billy Mitchell:  Airpower Advocate.
Available online at:
Contains background information and synopsis of the war in Europe.

Billy Mitchell, Aviation Pioneer. 
Available online at:
Doughboy Center - The Story of the American Expeditionary Forces.

Brig. General William "Billy" Mitchell.
Available online at:
Biographical information on Mitchell from the National Museum of the USAF.  Included are links to short factsheets concerning events Mitchell was involved with - the WWI Battle of St. Mihiel, the push for aerial mapping missions, the airplanes versus battleship tests of 1921-1923, and Mitchell's Special Congressional Medal of Honor.  Also mentions his predictions of a future war with Japan that would begin with the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Kilbride, Bryan R.  United States Military Theorists:  A Study of Patrons and Interests.  Fort Leavenworth, KS, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, School of Advanced Military Studies, 2010.  49 p.
Available online at:
Billy Mitchell, pp 25-28.
Comparison of Theorists, pp 35-43.

Leary, William M.  Billy Mitchell and the Great Transcontinental Air Race of 1919.  Air & Space Power Chronicles, May-June 1984.
Available online at:

Photographs and Images of William (Billy) Mitchell.
Available online at:

William 'Billy' Mitchell:  An Air Power Visionary.
Available online at:
Offers a four page article.

Internet Resource (Student Research)

Ivey, Jack M., Jr.  The Paradoxical Paradigm:  Aviation Leadership, 1918-1926:  How William Moffett Changed the Navy and How Billy Mitchell Prevented the Formation of a Separate Air Force.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air War College, April 1997.  62 p.
Available online at:
For .mil users - If link does not open, copy and paste into browser address bar.


The Air University Pantheon of Air, Space, and Cyberspace Power Thinkers, compiled by Vicki J. Rast.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air University Press, 2009.  110 p.
Maj Gen William L. “Billy” Mitchell (1879–1936), pp 16-21.
Also available online at:
Book call no.:  358.400973 R229a

Anders, Curt.  Fighting Airmen.  New York, Putnam, 1966.  287 p.
All in a Life's Work:  William Mitchell 1879-1936, pp 17-57.
Book call no.:  R 923.573 A544fa

Burlingame, Roger.  General Billy Mitchell, Champion of Air Defense.  Westport, CN, Greenwood Press, 1978.  212 p.
Book call no.:  92 M69b 1978

Cook, James J.  Billy Mitchell.  Boulder, CO, Lynne Rienner, 2002.  305 p.
Book call no.:  92 M69c

Davis, Burke.  The Billy Mitchell Affair.  New York, Random House, 1967.  373 p.
Book call no.:  92 M69d

Dictionary of American Military Biography - Volume 2, edited by Roger Spiller and others.  Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 1984.  1 vol.
Mitchell, William, pp 771-774.
Book call no.:  R 923.573 D554 v.2

Flugel, Raymond Richard.  United States Air Power Doctrine:  A Study of the Influence of William Mitchell and Guilio Douhet at the Air Corps Tactical School, 1921-1935.  Ann Arbor, MI, Xerox University Microfilms, 1966.  269 p.  (Thesis, University of Oklahoma)
Book call no.:  358 F646u

Gauvreau, Emile and Cohen, Lester.  Billy Mitchell:  Founder of Our Air Force and Prophet Without Honor.  New York, E. P. Dutton, 1942.  318 p.
Written in 1942 by two colleagues of Billy Mitchell utilizing copies of papers entrusted to them by Mitchell.  This book written in 1942 discusses Mitchell's beliefs and his earlier prophecies of war with Japan at the time when it was coming true.
Book call no.:  92 M69g

Great Lives from History:  American Series, edited by Frank N. Magill.  Pasadena, CA, Salem Press, 1987.  5 vols.
Volume 4 - Mitchell, pp 1563-1568.
Book call no.:  R 920.073 G786 v.4

Herwig, Holger and Heyman, Neil.  Biographical Dictionary of World War I.  Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 1982.  424 p.
William Mitchell, pp 256-257.
Book call no.:  R 923.5 H581b

A History of the United States Air Force - 1907-1957, edited by Alfred Goldberg.  New York, Van Nostrand, 1957.  277 p.
Air Service, AEF, pp 21-32.
Book call no.:  358.40973 G618h

Hurley, Alfred F.  The Aeronautical Ideas of General William Mitchell.  Ann Arbor MI, University Microfilms, 1962.  267 p.
Book call no.:  92 M69ha

Hurley, Alfred F.  Billy Mitchell, Crusader for Air Power.  Bloomington, IN, Indiana University Press, 1975.  190 p.
Book call no.:  92 M69h 1975

Jeffers, H. Paul.  Billy Mitchell:  The Life, Times, and Battles of America's Prophet of Air Power.  St. Paul, MN, 2005.  288 p.
Book call no.:  92 M69j

Jones, Johnny R.  William "Billy" Mitchell's Air Power.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Airpower Research Institute, CADRE, 1997.  99 p.
Compiled from the published and unpublished writings and commentaries of William Mitchell.
Book call no.:  358.4 J77w

Lane, Spencer.  First World Flight:  The Odyssey of Billy Mitchell.  Daytona Beach, FL, U.S. Press, 2002.  409 p.
Book call no.:  92 M69Lb

Levine, Isaac D.  Mitchell:  Pioneer of Air Power.  Rev ed.  New York, Duell, Sloan and Pearce,1958.  420 p.
Book call no.:  92 M69L 1958

A List of References on Brigadier General William Mitchell, 1879-1936.  Washington, Library of Congress, 1942.  33 p.
A bibliography compiled in 1942 listing numerous magazine and newspaper articles and Congressional testimonies from 1919 through 1942 concerning Mitchell.  The Fairchild Center owns several of these older magazines.
Book call no.:  012 M682u (Special Collection)

Makers of Modern Strategy:  Military Thought from Machiavelli to Hitler.  Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 1943.  553 p.
Douhet, Mitchell, Seversky:  Theories of Air Warfare, by Edward Warner, pp 485-503.
Book call no.:  355.09 Ea7m

Meilinger, Phillip S.  American Airpower Biography:  A Survey of the Field.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air University Press, 1995.  65 p.
Billy Mitchell, pp 2-7.
Also available online at:
Book call no.:  358.400922 M513a

Mitchell, William.  Memoirs of World War I:  "From Start to Finish of Our Greatest War."  New York, Random House, 1960.  312 p.
Book call no.:  940.44 M682m

Mitchell, William.  Our Air Force, the Keystone of National Defense.  New York, E. P. Dutton, 1921.  223 p.
Book call no.:  629.13 M69

Mitchell, William.  Skyways:  A Book on Modern Aeronautics.  Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott, 1930.  314 p.
Book call no.:  629.13 M69s (Special Collection)

Mitchell, William.  William Mitchell Papers.  Washington, Library of Congress, 1956.  1 vol.
Book call no.:  629.13 M682w (m.f.)

Mitchell, William.  Winged Defense:  The Development and Possibilities of Modern Air Power - Economic and Military.  New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1925.  261 p.
Book call no.:  629.13 M69w

Modern Warfare and Society, Volume I.  Colorado Springs, United States Air Force Academy, Fall 1984.  1 vol.
Mitchell and the Development of the USAAF, by Maj Ronald R. Fogelman, pp 19-1/19-20.
Book call no.:  355.0209 M689 v.1

National Aviation Hall of Fame (U.S.).  Enshrinee Album:  "The First Twenty-One Years", by James W. Jacobs.  Dayton, OH, National Aviation Hall of Fame, 1984.  230 p.
Mitchell, pp 132-133, includes portrait.
Book call no.:  R 926.2913 N277e

Schwarzer, William.  The Lion Killers:  Billy Mitchell and the Birth of Strategic Bombing.  Mount Holly, NJ, Aerial Perspective, 2003.  76 p.
Book call no.:  358.4009 S411L

Shoemaker, Robert H. and Paris, Leonard.  Famous American Generals.  New York, Thomas Y. Crowell, 1946.  218 p.
General William L. Mitchell, pp 42-51.
Book call no.:  923.573 S559f

Sneiderman, Barney.  Warriors Seven:  Seven American Commanders, Seven Wars, and the Irony of Battle.  New York Savas Beatie, 2006.  298 p.
Billy Mitchell:  St. Mihiel, 1918, pp 197-234.
Book call no.:  355.0092 S671w

Straubel, James H.  Crusade for Airpower:  The Story of the Air Force Association.  Washington, Aerospace Education Foundation, 1982.  419 p.
The Legacy:  Billy Mitchell, pp 17-24.
Book call no.:  358.4006 S912c

Thayer, Lucien.  America's First Eagles:  The Official History of the U.S. Air Service:  AEF, 1917-1918.  San Jose, CA, R. James Bender, 1983.  360 p.
Book call no.:  R 940.44973 T371a

Toliver, Raymond and Constable, Trevor J.  Fighter Aces of the U.S.A.  Fallbrook, CA, Aero, 1979.  400 p.
Book call no.:  R 923.573 T649f

Waller, Douglas C.  A Question of Loyalty:  Gen. Billy Mitchell and the Court-Martial That Gripped the Nation.  New York Harper Perennial, 2005.  439 p.
Book call no.:  343.730143 W198q 2005

Watts, Barry D. The Foundations of US Air Doctrine:  The Problem of Friction in War.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air University Press, Dec 1984.  166 p.
Douhet and Mitchell, pp 5-15.
Book call no.:  358.400973 W348f

Webster's American Military Biographies.  Springfield, MA, G & C Merriam, 1978.  548 p.
Mitchell, William, pp 284-285.
Book call no.:  923.5 W385

Weigley, Russell Frank.  The American Way of War:  A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy.  New York Macmillan, 1973.  584 p.
A Strategy of Air Power:  Billy Mitchell, pp 223-241.
Book call no.:  355.0973 W418a

Whitehouse, Arch.  Heroes of the Sunlit Sky.  Garden City, NY, Doubleday, 1967.  384 p.
William Mitchell, pp 86-90.
Book call no.:  923.5 W593h

Winged Shield, Winged Sword:  A History of the United States Air Force, edited by Bernard Nalty.  Washington, United States Air Force, Air Force History and Museums Program, 1997.  2 vols.
Volume I, Chapter 2 - Air Service in the Great War, pp 35-70.  Especially note pp 62-67 for information on Mitchell.
Volume I, Chapter 3 - From Air Service to Air Corps:  The Era of Billy Mitchell, pp 71-100.
Also available online at:
Book call no.:  358.400973 W769

Documents (Student Research)

Bobb, David W.  Of Humans, Technology, and Theories:  A Tale of Two Billys.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air Command and Staff College, April 2003.  31 p.
Traces the evolution of the airpower theories of General Billy Mitchell and Major William Carrington Sherman who both served as commanders in World War I and both became strong airpower advocates.
Doc. call no.:  M-U 43122 B6632o

Gaudlip, Fred W.  Vision to Victory - Space, Mahan, and Mitchell:  The Role of the Visionary in Cross-Organizational Innovation.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air Command and Staff College, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, 2001.  103 p.
Especially note, "Mitchell - Unwelcome Visionary", pp 48-78.
Also available online at:
Doc. call no.:  M-U 43998-1 G267v

Grumelli, Michael L.  Trial of Faith:  The Dissent and Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell.  Camden, NJ, Rutgers University, 1991.  320 p.
Doc. call no.:  M-U 43567-589

Latiolais, Stanley.  The Re-Evaluation of Douhet's, Mitchell's and De Seversky's Theories in the Light of Modern Weapons.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air Command and Staff School, 1948.  30 p.
Mitchell's Theories, pp 16-23.
Doc. call no.:  M-U 32984 L357r

Mansfield, Robert A.  Brigadier General Billy Mitchell:  Leader, Visionary, Prophet?  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air War College, April 1995.  34 p.
Doc. call no.:  M-U 43117 M287b

Mastromichalis, Michael J.  Billy Mitchell's Concept of Command Leadership and the Relevance for Air Force Officers.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air Command and Staff College, April 1986.  20 p.
Doc. call no.:  M-U 43122 M4231b

Mink, Barbara M.  Billy Mitchell:  Great Thinker.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air Command and Staff College, April 1985.  31 p.
Doc. call no.:  M-U 43122 M665b

Mohn, William.  Leaders in Air Doctrine, Theory and Practice.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air War College, 1976.  69 p.
William Mitchell, pp 38-49.
Doc. call no.:  M-U 32983 M6981L

Rember, W. Bruce.  Operational Lessons from the Dawn of Air Power.  Fort Leavenworth, KS, Army Command and General Staff College, May 1993.  58 p.
Section III:  1918 and the American Contribution, pp 21-28.  Section III discusses St. Mihiel and Mitchell's theories.
Appendix: Colonel Mitchell's Air Plan for St. Mihiel, pp 42-43.
Doc. call no.:  M-U 42022-2 R385o

Ripp, Mason L.  General William Mitchell.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air Command and Staff College, June 1965.  98 p.
Doc. call no.:  M-U 35582-7 R5931g

Rynecki, William C.  Transformational Leadership and Doctrine in an Age of Peace:  Searching for a Tamer Billy Mitchell.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air Command and Staff College, 1997.  40 p.
Also available online:
Doc. call no.:  M-U 43122 R995t


Arnold, Henry H.  Everyone Knows How It Ended.  Air Power Historian 6, no.3:147-172+ July 1959.

The Bomber and Billy Mitchell.  Fortune 24:184-188 October 1941.

Boyne, Walter J.  The Spirit of Billy Mitchell.  Air Force Magazine 76:66-72 June 1996.
Also available online at: 1996/0696billy.aspx

Boyne, Walter J.  The St. Mihiel Salient The Air Force Magazine 83:74-80 February 2000.
"Billy Mitchell assembled the largest air fleet ever committed to battle and established the Air Service as a true combat arm".
Also available online at:

Christy, Joe.  That First Round-the-World Flight.  Air Force Magazine 57:52-59 March 1974.
First round the world flight by U.S. Air Service planes in 1924, a Billy Mitchell project.

Correll, John T.  Billy Mitchell and the Battleships.  Air Force Magazine 91:62-68 June 2008.
Discusses Mitchell's beliefs and vocal comments that air power should take over many of the Navy's missions including coastal defense.  Mitchell argued that "airplanes could intercept and stop the invaders far from shore and do it faster and at lower cost than the Navy could.  To prove his point, he needed to sink a battleship and as early as the summer of 1919, he began thinking about how to do it".
Also available online at:

De Seversky, Alexander P.  Remember Billy Mitchell!  Air Power Historian 3:179-185 October 1956.

Dorr, Robert F.  Century to Flight:  Military Pioneers Who Made Aviation History.  Air Force Times 63:(55 p. insert) June 9, 2003.

Frisbee, John L.  Warrior, Prophet, MartyrAir Force Magazine 68:158-166 September 1985.

Grant, Rebecca.  The Real Billy Mitchell.  The Air Force Magazine 84:64-69 February 2001.
"He was more complicated than perceived by either his admirers or his detractors".  Contains many black and white photos.
Also available online at:

Hoffman, Frank.  Billy Mitchell.  Army Times 63:18-20 June 9, 2003.
Highlights the contribution of aviator William Mitchell to the military aviation history of the United States.  Family and educational background of Mitchell; Military career of Mitchell; Role of Mitchell as critic to the government's aviation program.

Greer, T. H.  Air Arm Doctrinal Roots, 1917-1918.  Military Affairs 20:202-216 Winter 1956.

Hoffman, Frank.  Billy Mitchell Unwavering Proponent of Air Power.  Air Force Times 63:18-19 June 2, 2003, 55 p. insert.
Pays tribute to aviator and U.S. Army General William Billy Mitchell, who died in 1936.  Educational background; Career in military service; Accomplishments.

Holritz, Robert T.  Air Force - The Quest for Autonomy.  Flying Safety 53:12-14+ September 1997.
Discusses the struggles of United States Air Force towards independence.  Legislation which made Air Force a separate branch of armed forces; contributions of Billy Mitchell to the quest for independence of the agency; conflict between the US Navy and US Air Force; creation of General Head Quarters (GHQ) Air Force.
Also available online at:

Kaplan, Hy.  Billy Mitchell, Prophet of U.S. Air Power.  Sergeants 18:14-15 December 1980.

Kline, Timothy E.  Where Have All the Mitchells Gone?  Airpower Journal 11:69-76 Fall 1997.
Profiles William `Billy' Mitchell, member of the US Air Force.  Other combat leaders that follow his footsteps; Mitchell's legacy in the U.S. Air Force
Also available online at:

Levine, Isaac D.  Mitchell and the Great Offensive.  Air Force Magazine 40:95+ November 1957.
Also available online at:

Maurer, Maurer and Senning, Calvin F.  Billy Mitchell, the Air Service and the Mingo War.  Air Power Historian 12:37-43 April 1965.

Meilinger, Phillip S.  U.S. Air Force Leaders:  A Biographical TourJournal of Military History 62:833-871 October 1998.
Presents biographies of military airmen who served in the United States Air Force.  In-depth look at the history of American airpower; includes information on William `Billy' Mitchell and others.
Also available online at:

Miller, Roger G.  Billy Mitchell, the 3d Attack Group and the Laredo Project of 1923.  Air Power History 54:4-15 Summer 2007.
Discusses some of the comments and testimony during Billy Mitchell's court-martial.
Also available online at:

Mitchell, William Mitchell.  The Bombing of the BattleshipsAir Power Historian 4:51-65 April 1957.

Mitchell, William Mitchell.  Mitchell Denounces Air AdministrationArmy and Navy Register 78, no. 2255:337,355-356 September 12, 1925.
Copy of Mitchell's "scathing denunciation of the practices and systems obtaining in the the administration of national defense" after the accidents of the Shenandoah and the PN-9.

O'Neill, William D.  Transformation:  Billy Mitchell StyleU.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 128:100-104 March 2002.
Focuses on the success and failures of Brigadier General William 'Billy' Mitchell in transforming defense in the 1920s.  Need of transformation in the US Navy; arguments of Mitchell concerning defense transformation; accomplishments of Mitchell in line with defense transformation.
Also available online at:

Perras, Galen Roger and Kellner, Katrina E.  "A Perfectly Logical and Sensible Thing":  Billy Mitchell Advocates a Canadian-American Aerial Alliance Against Japan.  Journal of Military History 72:785-823 July 2008.
In 1923 Brigadier General Billy Mitchell made a trip to Canada to meet with prominent Canadian officials to promote his idea of an aerial alliance against actions by Japan in a future war.  Mitchell's plan appealed to neither American nor Canadian officials but he pushed the alliance notion until his death in the mid-1930s.
Also available online at:

Poyner, D. Robert.  Childhood's End.  Airpower Journal 10:114-116 Summer 1996.
Looks at the future of United States' air power.  Examination of the historic context that influenced early air power visionaries; information on how competition between states is dealt with in the 1990s; information on Billy Mitchell's theory of air warfare; overview of the Air Force's future.
Also available online at:

Rose, Elihu.  The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell.  MHQ: Quarterly Journal of Military History 8:16-25 Spring 1996.

The Trial of Colonel Mitchell.  Army and Navy Register October-December 1925.
Volume 78 no. 2361 October 24, 1925 page 481.
Volume 78 no. 2362 October 31, 1925 pages 505 and 522.
Volume 78 no. 2364 November 14, 1925 pages 553 and 569-571.
Volume 78 no. 2365 November 21, 1925 pages 593-594 (this issue is missing from Fairchild's copy).
Volume 78 no. 2366 November 28, 1925 page 618.
Volume 78 no. 2369 December 19, 1925 pages 697-699.

Sommer, Anthony.  Billy Mitchell:  Aviation's Prophet.  American History Illustrated 9:32-43 December 1974.

Transformation, Billy Mitchell Style.  U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 128:28-29 May 2002.  
Comments on the previous article in the March 2002 Proceedings titled 'Transformation, Billy Mitchell Style,' by W. O'Neill.  Author's belief that Mitchell was maneuvered into resignation by his superior; Mitchell's accusation of incompetency and criminal negligence against Army and Navy superiors.
Also available online at:

Webb, Melody.  Billy Mitchell and the Alaska Telegraph.  American History Illustrated 20:22-25 January 1986.

Webb, William.  The Truth Will Out:  Why General Douglas MacArthur Voted "Not Guilty" in the Court-Martial of "Billy" Mitchell, Oct 28-Dec 17, 1925.  American Aviation Historical Society Journal 14:12-15 Spring 1969.

Wheeler, Gerald.  Mitchell, Moffett, and Air Power.  Airpower Historian 8:79-87 April 1961.

Youngman, Davil L.  The Day They Sank the Ostfriesland.  Airman 14:23-25 July 1970.


Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell.  Los Angeles, CA, Republic Pictures Home Video, 1 videocassette, 100 minutes.  1989.
Video call no.:  791.43658 C862

Legends of Air Power.  Arlington, VA, 3 Roads Communications, Inc., 3 videocassettes, 344 minutes.  2000.
Video call no.:  629.13092 L5111

This page was last updated on 03/10/2014 03:30 PM

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