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Billy Mitchell's Air War the topic of Feb. 13 lecture

Brig. Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell

Brig. Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell

DAYTON, Ohio -- Join Dr. Michael Grumelli as he discusses the career of Billy Mitchell; one of the premier air power theorists of his time, and examines the relationship among airmen and technology in early military aviation on Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

His lecture titled "Billy Mitchell's Air War: Practice, Promise and Controversy in Early Military Aviation," highlights the development of Mitchell's uniquely American air power thought in the 1920s as influenced by WWI.

Following the war, many Air Service flyers supported the idea of a separate air arm, independent of the Army and Navy, which could carry out strategic operations against enemy industrial targets as opposed to supporting front-line troops on the battlefield. The most prominent advocate of this philosophy was Billy Mitchell.

According to Dr. Grumelli, Mitchell contended that air power--controlled by an airman in a centralized manner and directed at an enemy's vital centers--could decisively defeat an enemy without first defeating its armies and navies.

This free lecture will be held in the museum's Carney Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The son of a thirty-year Army non-commissioned officer, Dr. Grumelli earned his Ph.D. in military history from Rutgers University in 1991, and is currently on the faculty of the Air Command and Staff College, as well as the School of Advance Air and Space Studies at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

A colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Dr. Grumelli has deployed in support of contingency operations as a planner from Uphold Democracy to Operation Iraqi Freedom and most recently served as the Chief of Campaign Planning with Multi-National Force Iraq.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Pike, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission and parking are free.

The museum is the world's largest and oldest military aviation museum. More than one million people visit the museum each year to see its nearly 350 aircraft and aerospace vehicles and to walk through more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space.

NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-8046, ext. 312.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, contact Rob Bardua at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-4704, ext. 330.

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