February 19, 1936

1936: William Lendrum Mitchell died on this date in 1936. He was a United States Army officer who is regarded as one of the earliest advocates of an independent United States Air Force.
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 for 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.