Miller Dos Santos
November 28th, 2014
World War I was the first time that aircraft were used in a large scale. Observation balloons were used extensively for artillery spotting. Aeroplanes were just introduced into military outside of the war. Ace fighter pilots were portrayed as modern knights and many became heros.
World War I introduced airplane warfare and by doing promoted an era of tremendous progress in military aviation. Although the plane was relatively new and untested by 1914, the nations at war quickly recognized its potential as a powerful weapon.
The following talks about two important men who played an important role in the expansion and future of military aviation.
William Adgar Moffet
As Moffett wrote in 1920, “naval aviation must go to sea on the back of the fleet….. The fleet and naval aviation are one and inseparable.”
A conventional navy man by WWI standards, Moffett had little interest in airplanes and for those who flew them. He was part of the U.S. Navy which were surrounded by battleships and big guns. Having limited exposure to aviation he had a glimpse of the future. His unprecedented 12 year tenure as Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics enabled him to use his skills during his career. He is known as the “Father of Naval Aviation.” AWARDS
As skipper of the cruiser Chester, Moffet landed a party of sailors and Marines on April 22nd, 1913 at Vera Cruz for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Moffet as commander of the Great Lakes Naval Station established flight training and opened schools for aviation mechanics, quartermasters and armorers.
Director of the Bureau of Aeronautics in 1921.
Moffet perished on board the dirigible USS Akron on April 4th, 1933.
General Billy Mitchell
Known as one of the most vocal proponents and clearest critics of military aviation in the postwar period. Son of John L. Mitchell (a wealthy senator) and his wife Harriet, William "Billy" Mitchell was born on December 28, 1879 at Nice, France. In 1898, prior to graduating, he enlisted in the US Army with the goal of fighting in the Spanish American War. Entering the service, Mitchell's father soon used his connections to obtain his son a commission.
Billy Mitchell - World War I:
Working along the Royal Flying Corps' General Sir Hugh Trenchard, Mitchell learned how to develop aerial combat strategies. On