Jimmy Doolittle

United States Air Force Medal of Honor Recipient

General/Doctor James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle, USAF was an American aviation pioneer. Doolittle served as an officer in the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War. He earned the Medal of Honor for his valor and leadership as commander of the Doolittle Raid while a lieutenant colonel.… Read More

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1896 Birth Born on December 14, 1896.


1910 13 Years Old When his school attended the 1910 Los Angeles International Air Meet at Dominguez Field Doolittle saw his first airplane. … Read More


1917 20 Years Old 1 More Event
Doolittle took a leave of absence in October 1917 to enlist in the Signal Corps Reserve as a flying cadet; he ground trained at the School of Military Aeronautics (an Army school) on the campus of the University of California, and flight-trained at Rockwell Field, California.
1918 21 Years Old 1 More Event
Doolittle received his Reserve Military Aviator rating and was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Signal Officers Reserve Corps of the U.S. Army on March 11, 1918. … Read More
1920 - 1921 2 More Events
1922 25 Years Old 1 More Event
Subsequently, he attended the Air Service Mechanical School at Kelly Field and the Aeronautical Engineering Course at McCook Field, Ohio. Having at last returned to complete his college degree, he earned the Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley in 1922, and joined the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.
1924 27 Years Old 1 More Event
…  In March 1924, he conducted aircraft acceleration tests at McCook Field, which became the basis of his master's thesis and led to his second Distinguished Flying Cross.
1925 28 Years Old 1 More Event
Because the Army had given him two years to get his degree and he had done it in just one, he immediately started working on his Sc.D. in Aeronautics, which he received in June 1925. … Read More
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to First Lieutenant (Air Service) James Harold Doolittle (ASN: 0-271855), U.S. Army Air Corps, for extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight. … Read More


1927 30 Years Old 1 More Event
He returned to the United States, and was confined to Walter Reed Army Hospital for his injuries until April 1927. … Read More
1929 32 Years Old In 1929, he became the first pilot to take off, fly and land an airplane using instruments alone, without a view outside the cockpit. … Read More
1930 33 Years Old 1 More Event
In January 1930, he advised the Army on the construction of Floyd Bennett Field in New York City.
1934 37 Years Old In April 1934, Doolittle was selected to be a member of the Baker Board. … Read More


1940 - 1941 3 More Events
1942 45 Years Old 1 More Event
In July 1942, as a Brigadier General – he had been promoted by two grades on the day after the Tokyo attack, by-passing the rank of full Colonel – Doolittle was assigned to the nascent Eighth Air Force. … Read More
1943 46 Years Old 1 More Event
Maj Gen Doolittle took command of the Fifteenth Air Force in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in November 1943. … Read More
On 5 January 1946, Doolittle reverted to inactive reserve status in the Army Air Forces in the grade of Lieutenant General, a rarity in those days when nearly all other reserve officers were limited to the rank of major general or rear admiral, a restriction that would not end in the US armed forces until the 21st century.


1947 50 Years Old 1 More Event
On 18 September 1947, his reserve commission as a general officer was transferred to the newly established United States Air Force. … Read More
1948 51 Years Old The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1948, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Major General (Air Corps) James Harold Doolittle (ASN: 0-271855), United States Army Air Forces, for gallantry in action. … Read More
1951 54 Years Old In March 1951, Doolittle was appointed a special assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, serving as a civilian in scientific matters which led to Air Force ballistic missile and space programs. In 1952, following a string of three air crashes in two months at Elizabeth, New Jersey, the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman, appointed him to lead a presidential commission examining the safety of urban airports. … Read More
1954 57 Years Old In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower asked Doolittle to perform a study of the Central Intelligence Agency; The resulting work was known as the Doolittle Report, 1954, and was classified for a number of years. In January 1956, Dwight Eisenhower asked Doolittle to serve as a member on the first edition of the President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities which, years later, would become known as the President's Intelligence Advisory Board.


1957 - 1972 4 More Events
1983 86 Years Old In 1983, he was awarded the United States Military Academy's Sylvanus Thayer Award.
1989 92 Years Old He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America as the only member of the air racing category in the inaugural class of 1989, and into the Aerospace Walk of Honor in the inaugural class of 1990. … Read More
1993 97 Years Old James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle died at the age of 96 in Pebble Beach, California on September 27, 1993, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, near Washington, D.C., next to his wife. … Read More
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