December 29, 1879: Billy Mitchell, World War I military hero, was born in Nice, France of American parents but grew up in Milwaukee. Mitchell joined the Army at the start of the Spanish-American War. He stayed in the Army's Signal Corps, learning to fly in 1916. He commanded several large air units during World War I, becoming a brigadier general by war's end. Mitchell became a vigorous advocate of air power, but his condemnation of military superiors when they would not listen caused him to be demoted. He accused the military of incompetency and negligence. Mitchell was court-martialed in 1925 for his defiance of superiors. During World War II many of Mitchell's predictions about air power and Japan came true. Mitchell had died in 1936 but was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously in 1946.