Friday, July 30, 2010

A Mother Gives Her Three Sons to Her Country - 1917

June 10, 1917
Four months ago Mrs. John J. Mitchell, offered her three sons to the nation.  Her husband was president of the Illinois Trust and Savings bank.

"If war comes," she said, "I want them to be at the front.  They have been richly blessed by this country.  They have had the chance to get good educations and prepare for whatever careers they choose.  They owe a real debt to the country and I would not be the one to stop them from paying it."

The three sons were:  William H., John J. Mitchell, Jr. and Clarence.  Two of the sons, John J. and William H. joined the new army air force and were trained first at the Great Lakes Naval Training station and then Mastie, Long Island.  On Long Island, these two sons, raised in wealth, were 9 miles from a store and 5 miles from the railroad.  They were eating army "chow" which must have been a shock.  Clarence, the youngest boy was in school at Concord, Mass.

John Jr. was seriously injured in an air crash while training at Key West, Fl.  Thomas W. Eaton, the other pilot was killed.  They were both attempting to land when they collided.  He never made it to the war front.  William H. after completing flight training was assigned to the Blue Devils, American's first stunt flying team.

In December, 1920, John Jr., married Lolita Armour in the great mansion that we visited on our history tour in July, 2010.

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