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American Naval Airpower
1887 - 1947
Marc Andrew Mitscher was born in Hillsboro, Wisconsin on January 26, 1887. After graduation from the Naval Academy in 1910, he served in the Fleet until 1915, when he reported for aviation training aboard the USS North Carolina, one of the first ships to carry an aircraft. He was designated Naval Aviator #33 on June 2, 1916.
Mitscher received his first Navy Cross in May 1919 "For distinguished service...as a member of the crew of the Seaplane NC-1, which made a long overseas flight from Newfoundland to the vicinity of the Azores...", man's first flight across the Atlantic.
Over the next two decades, he advanced through varied assignments, including the Bureau of Aeronautics and in two of the early United States' aircraft carriers. He continued to advance the science of aeronautics through his leadership in the development of mass flights over water and techniques of carrier-based aviation.
Mitscher assumed command of the USS Hornet in October 1941 and launched Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle's Tokyo raid from her deck on April 18, 1942. Mitscher there after enjoyed enormous strategic success with Naval aviation commands from the Solomon Islands to the Central and Western Pacific culminating in leadership of the famed TASK FORCE 58.
Admiral Mitscher died on February 3, 1947, while in command of the Atlantic Fleet.
Admiral Mitscher refined the projection of naval airpower to the highest levels ever achieved. His main batteries were his aircraft. Admiral Marc Mitscher was a pioneering airman who was privileged to apply his vast aeronautical experience in the service of his country.
Invested 1989 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame
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