Fathers of the Air Service Collage
Presented is a collage celebrating the men who made an early impact on the formation of America’s Air Service. Complete with signatures by Jimmy Doolittle, Tooey Spaatz, Hap Arnold, and Billy Mitchell, this work pays homage to the dramatic influence of the airpower in warfare. A photograph signed by Spaatz is displayed at the bottom right of the collage as well as a signed photo of Doolittle with the inscription, “To Frank Barone: With kindest personal regards and every good wish.” Towards the middle of the collage is a letter written and signed by Arnold agreeing to sign an “Official A.A.F Guidebook.” Lastly, the center of this work bears Mitchell’s signature on his personal “Boxwood” Middleburg, VA letterhead. All elements are framed together in a custom archival frame.
James “Jimmy” Doolittle
Most famously known for leading the Tokyo Air Raid during WWII, General Jimmy Doolittle contributed not just service, but ingenuity to the nascent air service. A military strategist, Doolittle also became the first pilot to fly from the American east coast to the west coast in under 24 hours, developed low visibility flight tools, modified bomber escort tactics, and led the famous Eighth Air Force. General Doolittle served in WWI, WWII, and the Cold War, but his attack on Tokyo and other major cities dominates his legacy and has since been called the Doolittle Raid.
Carl “Tooey” Spaatz
During WWII, General Carl “Tooey” Spaatz served as a commanding general of the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa and in February 1943, he assumed command of the Northwest African Air Force, which he organized. Spaatz took command of United States Strategic Air Forces in January 1944 and led the air war against Germany until the war's end in Europe. In July 1945, Spaatz moved his headquarters to the Pacific Ocean Theater. It was there that he received the order from the War Department for the 20th Air Force to drop atomic bombs on Japan. After the war, Spaatz became the first Chief of Staff of the independent U.S. Air Force in 1947.
Henry H. “Hap” Arnold
Hap Arnold was the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force and was instrumental in the planning of aerial attacks against Japan and the daylight bombing raids on Germany in WWII, including the Doolittle Raid. He was heavily involved with and developed many of the fateful strategic decisions made during WWII. Instructed by the Wright Brothers, Hap Arnold’s pilot career led him to eventually help create the world’s most impressive Air Force.
William “Billy” Mitchell
Billy Mitchell served as an Army Officer in WWI and was an early and ardent advocate of an independent air force. The first American airman to cross enemy lines in WWI, Mitchell was named Lieutenant Colonel on the American Expeditionary Forces in June 1917. Although his relentless pushing for an independent air force earned him a court marshall and demotion, eventually his ideas were put into place. In 1946 Congress produced a medal in his honor and presented it to his son.
Overall very good condition. No significant damage is evident on any signature piece. The Spaatz photograph is signed in blue ink while the Doolittle photograph is signed and inscribed in black ink. Neither photo is faded, however there is one minor crease over Doolittle’s proper left eye. The other three photos are newly printed and in fine condition. The Arnold letter is clearly legible and signed in blue ink with two horizontal creases from where the letter was originally folded. Mitchell’s signature card is signed clearly in black ink. Both papers are clean and bright.
All elements are framed according to the highest archival standards including acid-free matting and UV protective glass.
40"H x 43 1/2"W x 2"D.