|GEN. AND MRS. WILLIAM MITCHELL       WALTER LEES|
Wheel off the old Jenny in which General Mitchell learned to fly at Newport News in 1916 is presented to him by Lees, pilot of the
Packard Diesel endurance flight. Lees and Jimmie Johnson taught the then captain and he soloed in four days.
When "Jimmie" and "Walter" taught young Captain Mitchell of Army headquarters staff how to fly back in 1916 in four days, taught him "on the quiet" because folks who wanted to learn to fly were believed to be crazy, there wasn't any such thing as a parachute and the sight of a Boeing in a 240-mile-an-hour dive, would have scared the world's best pilots to death.
"I'll never forget how you used to sneak down every Saturday night, general, and push that old Jenny around the sky with one or the other of us all day Sunday," said Walter with a chuckle.
"And we soloed you in four days," said Johnson.
"But what a four days," said the general. "I remember we flew from dawn to dark..
After the solo, General Mitchell said, he thought he was a pretty good pilot. "The second time I couldn't get the tail down. I hit and bounced as high as this hangar. But let me tell you, the next time I came around to land, I got down and stayed there. I learned more in that moment than I could have done in weeks. I was scared to death.
Lees presented the general yesterday with the wheel from the old ship on which General Mitchell soloed. Many famous men piloted that old "crate."
"Eddie flew the ship often down there at Newport news, Lees added.
There was silence at the mention of the name of Eddie Stinson, one of the world's greatest pilots, who met his death in January.
The old wheel is going into Mitchell's trophy room, and his wife, daughter of Sidney T. Miller, Detroit, took possession of it, looking at the dates and names of well known pilots scratched on the metal.
George Washington '96
From Phi Kappa Psi "Shield". Winter, 1967
Six U.S. aviation pioneers were enshrined in the Aviation Hall of Fame at Dayton, Ohio, on December 16, 1966, in ceremonies celebrating the 63rd anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., December 17, 1903.
One of those six pioneers was Phi Psi's Maj. Gen. William L. "Billy" Mitchell, George Washington '96, bold patriot, prophet and courageous martyr who sacrificed his military career to focus public attention on the necessity to make America supreme in the air. He was born in 1879 and died on Founders Day, 2/19, in 1936.
Established by an act of congress, the Aviation Hall of Fame is part of the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C.,      Portraits of the pioneers, drawn by Milton Caniff, native of Dayton and creator of Steve Canyon, were added to a score already installed during previous anniversary observances