Flyboys in jail

So I was in jail for about 16 days. On the 2nd day of jail they moved me from the downtown Seattle jail to the Maleng Regional Justice Center which is in Kent.

The Kent jail is like heaven compared to some of other of the jails.

In the Malenge Justice Center, at least in June of 2019, you get your own room and you have your own sink and toilet and there are books to read.

There were about 60 of us prisoners and there was a guard watching us. Several times a day we go out of our rooms and either eat or have time that is called rack out.

There was a bookcase and there were 3 or so shelves of books. In practice there were more shelves of books because, at any one time, various of the prisoners have a book or several with them.

One of the first books that I borrowed from the bookcase was Flyboys which was the story of various of the naval aviators during and leading up to WWII in the Pacific. At that point in time, I think that these aviators were, some of them, considered Army pilots. William Mitchell and the Doolittle Raiders were in fact Army pilots.

Anyway, it turns out that both Mitchell and the Raiders were wrongly or badly convicted.

Mitchell was commandeer of the air force of WWI, except that it was not called the Air Force then. After the war, he spoke to brass and the public about the rising power of planes, and how planes would destroy battleships and would be difficult to shoot down.

Mitchell arranged for some public demonstrations of the power of planes to bomb things and the difficulty we would have in shooting them down. The demonstrations proved that he was right, contrary to the expectations of others in the Army and Navy who believed otherwise.

Mitchell believed in the rightness of his cause and continued to advocate for it and he also warned of Japan’s likelihood of attacking the USA.

Mitchell irritated his superiors enough that he was put on trial for insubordination and found guilty. He died a little bit later.

Shortly after Pearl Harbor, he was promoted by Roosevelt to Major General. In 1946, Congress awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal. Now, please understand, he was promoted and awarded the medal while he was dead!

Some of the Doolittle Raiders were captured by the Japanese who then created or had a law making it a war crime to bomb civilians. The Japanese found the Raiders to be war criminals and then sentenced them to death, but commuted some of the sentences and executed some of the Raiders.

It is true that the Raiders killed a bunch of civilians. I don’t know if we know how much of it was an accident and how much was done intentionally in anger.

Even though the Doolittle Raiders did in fact kill a bunch of civilians, it seems that God or the wind and storm helped them. When they left their ship, there was a bad storm and the storm may have helped the planes get off the ship and the storm also scattered the planes in a way that let them get to targets, but also make them more difficult for the Japanese to shoot down.

Maybe some of the Doolittle Raiders tried to only bomb military and industrial targets and maybe some of them in fact did evil by killing civilians with the intent of killing them. I do not know, but it seems that God was with them and helping them, as a group at least.

Here is a photo of William Mitchell, considered now to be the father of the Air Force, for his wisdom and foresight. William Mitchell, guilty!

William Mitchell, father of the Air Force, found guilty of insubordination in 1925 . . . promoted to general in 1942.

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