Mitchell, William. Our Air Force: The Keystone of National Defense. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1921. Signed and inscribed by Mitchell. First edition, later printing. Rebound and housed in archival slipcase.
Presented is a first edition of Our Air Force: the Keystone of National Defense signed and inscribed by Brigadier General William “Billy” Mitchell. The inscription reads, “To F. D. Grace, with the regards of Wm. Mitchell.” This first edition was published in New York by E. P. Dutton & Company in 1921. Professionally rebound in blue quarter morocco leather, this book is housed in a custom-built archival slipcase.
William “Billy” Mitchell had a major impact on the American Air Force. He was instrumental in procuring aerial victories during WWI after being promoted to Brigadier General and commanding all of the American aerial combat units in France. Although he had a reputation for ignoring chain of command, Mitchell won complete aerial supremacy and earned a reputation for aerial combat strategies.
After the war, Mitchell became an advocate for a separate Air Force and for the investment in military preparedness. Working to promote the importance of aircrafts and their effectiveness over ships, Mitchell constantly urged the Navy and the White House not to let the U.S. fall behind in aviation, going so far as to publicly accuse them of criminal negligence and incompetence. Despite being court martialed and eventually resigning his post, Congress posthumously awarded him the Medal of Honor in 1948 after an independent Air Force was created. Today, he is regarded as the Father of the United States Air Force.
His book, Our Air Force, was written while Mitchell still held his military position. It is devoted to what could be done with an air force and particularly why a separate unit is beneficial to the country. Mitchell provides, “...an idea of what an efficient organization of our aeronautical resources means to the country, how it can be brought about, and what we already have for doing it.”
Overall very good condition. The signature is written in dark green ink. Internally, the pages are clean and without tears, loss, etc. Some slight discoloration to the edges from age. The book has been rebound with quarter morocco leather and a decorative gilt spine. Additionally, a matching blue archival slipcase has been custom made to match the book’s binding.
Dimensions: 8 ¾” H x 5 ⅞” W x 2 ⅛” D (with slipcase)