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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Loening Amphibian: 1925

Loening Amphibian: 1925

January 19, 1925. Loening amphibian plane. Maj. Henry Clagett, Gen. William Mitchell, Grover Loening at Bolling Field. View full size. National Photo Co.

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Oh, Billy, we hardly know ye

The "Gen. William Mitchell" identified so casually was, of course, THE Billy Mitchell, considered by many to be the father of the U.S. Air Force. He alienated his superiors after the Great War and into the 1920s, attacking the War and Navy departments for their failure to see the need for a strong national airpower.

Most of the brass scoffed at the thought of an airplane being able to sink big ships, for example, so Mitchell arranged to prove his ideas by sinking several surplus ships in the Atlantic about 50 miles from the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. Well, things boiled to the point that Mitchell was brought up for a court martial ("insubordination") and found guilty. One of the judges voting not guilty was Douglas MacArthur. Two months or so after this photo was taken (note he's wearing civvies), Mitchell was demoted to colonel and sent to a non-aviation assignment. Then he resigned and spent the years until his death in 1936 preaching the need for airpower.

The true aviators in government Washington knew what he was all about: Notable is that the only military aircraft named for a person is the Mitchell B-25 (a bomber, of course, made famous by Jimmy Doolittle's Tokyo raid from a carrier deck just five months after Pearl Harbor).

It's a Bird! It's a Plane!

It's a... Surfboard?

I love the felt uniform coat with the embossing that the major is wearing. Reminds me of Winsor McKay's drawings. ~~~

Loening OL

That there is a Loening Aeronautical Engineering Corporation OL amphibious biplane. An interesting picture, to say the least.

Loening Amphibian

A Time magazine article dated Feb 2, 1925, describes the plane leaving leaving the East River in Manhattan and arriving at Bolling Field two hours later for its first public appearance. Maj. Clagett (later Brig. Gen. Clagett) was commanding officer of the field at the time, Mitchell the assistant chief of the Air Service, and Loening of course built the thing.

Same plane here?

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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