Skyways: A Book on Modern Aeronautics.

"Nothing can stop the attack of aircraft except other aircraft. With us air people, the future of our nation is indissolubly bound up in the development of air power": First edition of General William Mitchell's Skyways: A Book on Modern Aeronautics; inscribed by him to W. Walter Healy, National President Society of the Fifth Division

Skyways: A Book on Modern Aeronautics.

MITCHELL, William.


Item Number: 137238

Philadelphia and London: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1930.

First edition of this classic work on aeronautics by “the father of the United States Air Force” Billy Mitchell. Octavo, original cloth, with seventy-six illustrations from photographs and drawings. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To W. Walter Healy National President Society of the Fifth Division U.S.A. With the regards of Wm. Mitchell.” The recipient, W. Walter Healy, served as President of the Society of the Fifth Division from 1934 to 1935. The Fifth Division was organized in December 1917 as a part of the program for the expansion of the armed forces for service in World War 1. In May of 1918, it became the eighth of forty-two American divisions to arrive on the Western Front. Among the division’s first casualties was Captain Mark W. Clark, then commanding the 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, who would later become a four-star general. On 12 September, the unit was part of a major attack that reduced the salient at St. Mihiel. The division later fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the largest battle fought by the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) (and the largest in the history of the U.S. Army) in World War I. The war ended soon after, on November 11, 1918. Near fine in the rare original dust jacket which is in very good condition. Exceptionally scarce signed by Mitchell with no other signed copies traced in recent auction records.

Generally regarded as the father of the United States Air Force, William Lendrum Mitchell served in France during World War I and, by the conflict's end, commanded all American air combat units in that country. After the war, he was appointed deputy director of the Air Service and began advocating increased investment in air power, believing that this would prove vital in future wars. He argued particularly for the ability of bombers to sink battleships and organized a series of bombing runs against stationary ships designed to test the idea. Mitchell received many honors following his death, including a Congressional Gold Medal. He is also the first person for whom an American military aircraft design, the North American B-25 Mitchell, is named.

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