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August 6th, 2006

COURTS OF INQUIRY THEN AND NOW

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." George Santayana

"Seventeen years before the Japanese attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Mitchell concluded that war with Japan was inevitable and the Pacific Islands would be crucial Japanese objectives because of their strategic value as air bases. He pushed for large-scale reinforcement of the Air Service in the Hawaiian Islands, but met much resistance. Mitchell continued to campaign for air power, writing his book Winged Defense and publishing articles, which he had been ordered to submit for War Department clearance before publication. The loss of a naval seaplane on a nonstop flight from San Francisco to Hawaii on September 1, 1925, and the destruction of the dirigible USS Shenandoah two days later, prompted Mitchell to published an article September 5, 1925, in which he blamed these aviation tragedies and others on the Navy and War Departments. Two weeks later he was court-martialed and sentenced to a five-year suspension from duty without pay. Mitchell resigned from the Army on February 1, 1926, but he continued to wage his battle for air power. He died on February 17, 1936, shortly before his ideas on air power were vindicated. He was posthumously restored to the service in 1942 with the rank of major general."

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