Jimmy Doolittle
United States Air Force Medal of Honor recipient
Jimmy Doolittle
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.
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Jimmy Doolittle's personal information overview.
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Of War and Life: Ventura's Hal Wilder found love and then a World War II ... - Ventura County Star
Google News - over 5 years
Jimmy Doolittle, and Medal of Honor recipient Eddie Rickenbacker, whom Wilder affectionately called "Uncle Rick." The men were regular dinner guests at the Wilder home. "As a child, I was required to sit at the dinner table until everyone was ready to
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New Page Field terminal complex dedicated in Fort Myers - The News-Press
Google News - over 5 years
Jimmy Doolittle and his crew first practiced stripping B-25s to lighten their load and increase their flight range. And, after months of secret training, on April 18, 1942, Doolittle led a squadron of B-52s from the deck of the USS Hornet on the first
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LT. COL. CHARLES S. HUDSON, RET. - Midway Driller
Google News - over 5 years
Jimmy Doolittle Charlie was awarded the Air Medal with two clusters. He was also awarded by the French government it's prestigious Croix de Guerre medal. He also received four Presidential Unit Citations, and the European theater ribbon with six battle
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Schilt: a Marine, Cherry Point pioneer - ENC Today
Google News - over 5 years
"He actually rubbed elbows with Jimmy Doolittle, who is considered one of the finest military aviators of that era, and Schilt was right up there with him," Hart said. "They both flew in several competitions. As a matter of fact, Doolittle won the
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Old photos, map set for Village Hall walls - Chagrin Valley Publishing
Google News - over 5 years
Other pilots at the event included Frank Hawkes, Eddie Rickenbacker, Francis J. Rowe and Jimmy Doolittle. There were flying and stunt demonstrations for the dedication. The newspaper referred to the airport as being in Chagrin Falls and in Cuyahoga
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Tea Party values will help fix US credit rating - Oneonta Daily Star
Google News - over 5 years
Jimmy Doolittle said on the eve of the Tokyo raid, "Nothing is stronger than the heart of a volunteer." But, is the downgrade our fault? Of course, it is! We called attention to the runaway spending, corruption and wealth transfer
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US Military: Protectors of the Selfish Class? - Big Government
Google News - over 5 years
Honoring men like Jimmy Doolittle or naming streets and highways after war heroes, living or dead, seems like a quaint relic from a long-forgotten era. Within days of the Chinook tragedy, Britain was set ablaze by barbaric rioters and looters
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Forty-Seven Years in Aviation -- A Memoir: Chapter 4 -- Primary Flight ... - AVweb
Google News - over 5 years
When we got back Don admitted it was a close call; if nothing else, he found out how much altitude a T-6 requires for a split-S. Instrument training for Air Force student pilots in 1955 hadn't moved very far beyond Jimmy Doolittle's pioneering work in
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Aviation Club Secures a Home on Park Avenue, in a Space With Significance
NYTimes - over 5 years
In the 1950s, when commercial aviation was growing and space travel captured the American imagination, the Wings Club of New York settled into a first-class home. Over the next several decades, it was a congenial gathering spot for aviators, celebrities and even presidents. Candles glowed on birthday cakes sometimes delivered by beautiful flight
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A simple aviation camp helped S.A. land the role of 'Military City' - San Antonio Express
Google News - over 5 years
Jimmy Doolittle (second row, standing, third from left) and Kelly personnel, who helped prepare his plane for his 1922 coast-to-coast flight. Photo: USA/Kelly AFB / Bk: A Heritage of Service... "Kelly Katies" doing desealing work in
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A 95th birthday party for a hero - Cincinnati.com
Google News - over 5 years
Jimmy Doolittle's co-pilot. Griffin and Cole shook their heads at the word "hero." They waved their hands as if to keep the sound of the word out. "Not us," Griffin said. "We toasted the heroes earlier." The six-course, three-hour feast - filled with
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How about a WW II topic: Italy 1936. Choose a dofferent way in the air. - Strategy Page
Google News - over 5 years
He actually outperformed the German and British idiots in theater, and that with rotten equipment, until Jimmy Doolittle arrived and showed the Allies in North Africa how it was supposed to be done., Not exactly correct, The Richelieus were pieces of
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WWII plane on display at Airport Bash - Moberly Monitor Index
Google News - over 5 years
Jimmy Doolittle took off from the USS Hornet in the Western Pacific Ocean and bombed the Japanese mainland. The attack boosted American morale and alarmed the Japanese, who had believed their home islands couldn't be touched by the Allies
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Sunrise, sunset Carolina style - The State
Google News - over 5 years
MIC SMITH /ASSOCIATED PRESS During the summer, thousands of purple martins roost on Jimmy Doolittle Island, also known as Bomb Island. At sunset, the martins return to their roost. July and August are the prime months for viewing the birds
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Hap Arnold - Nothing is impossible - Sonoma Index-Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
When famous folks, including Jimmy Doolittle, Lowell Thomas, George Marshall and many others visited Hap Arnold, he would take them to meet his Sonoma friends in these and other local landmarks. Along the way, Hap and Bee Arnold had four children: Lois
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American History: The War in the Pacific - Voice of America
Google News - over 5 years
General Jimmy Doolittle led a group of sixteen American B-25 bombers that took off from the aircraft carrier Hornet and bombed Tokyo in a surprise raid. JIMMY DOOLITTLE: "The B-25 was selected because it was small, because it had the sufficient range
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Aviation buff calls Richfield home - Salisbury Post
Google News - over 5 years
... II flying ace and pilot of the Memphis Belle; Chuck Yeager, who broke the sound barrier; Scott Crossfield, the test pilot who flew twice the speed of sound; and James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, famous for leading the B-25 bombing raid on Tokyo in 1942
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WWII Vet Celebrates 90th birthday - WALA-TV FOX10
Google News - over 5 years
“April 18th, in Alameda, Calif., we took aboard Jimmy Doolittle and 16 ArmyAB-25s. We got underway towards Japan. A few hundred miles from Japan, we launched the B-25s, they bombed Tokyo,” Tolin said. Tolin was onboard the USS Hornet, which was sunk
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jimmy Doolittle
    TWENTIES
  • 1993
    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.
    More Details Hide Details In his honor at the funeral, there was also a flyover of Miss Mitchell, a lone B-25 Mitchell, and USAF Eighth Air Force bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. After a brief graveside service, fellow Doolittle Raider Bill Bower began the final tribute on the bugle. When emotion took over, Doolittle's great-grandson, Paul Dean Crane, Jr., played Taps. Citation: For conspicuous leadership above the call of duty, involving personal valor and intrepidity at an extreme hazard to life. With the apparent certainty of being forced to land in enemy territory or to perish at sea, Gen. Doolittle personally led a squadron of Army bombers, manned by volunteer crews, in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland. 1st Citation:
  • TEENAGE
  • 1989
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The headquarters of the United States Air Force Academy Association of Graduates (AOG) on the grounds of the United States Air Force Academy, Doolittle Hall, is named in his honor. On May 9, 2007, The new 12th Air Force Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC), Building 74, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, was named in his honor as the "General James H. Doolittle Center." Several surviving members of the Doolittle Raid were in attendance during the ribbon cutting ceremony.
  • 1983
    In 1983, he was awarded the United States Military Academy's Sylvanus Thayer Award.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1972
    In 1972, Doolittle received the Tony Jannus Award for his distinguished contributions to commercial aviation, in recognition of the development of instrument flight.
    More Details Hide Details On April 4, 1985, the U.S. Congress promoted Doolittle to the rank of full 4-star General (O-10) on the U.S. Air Force retired list. In a later ceremony, President Ronald Reagan and U.S. Senator and retired Air Force Reserve Major General Barry Goldwater pinned on Doolittle's four-star insignia. In addition to his Medal of Honor for the Tokyo raid, Doolittle also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, two Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star, four Air Medals, and decorations from Great Britain, France, Belgium, Poland, China and Ecuador. He was the first person to be awarded both the Medal of Honor and the Medal of Freedom, the nation's two highest honors. Doolittle was awarded the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences in 1959.
  • OTHER
  • 1959
    Doolittle retired from Air Force Reserve duty on February 28, 1959.
    More Details Hide Details He remained active in other capacities, including chairman of the board of TRW Space Technology Laboratories.
  • 1958
    He committed suicide at the age of thirty-eight in 1958.
    More Details Hide Details At the time of his death, James Jr. was a Major and commander of the 524th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, piloting the F-101 Voodoo. His other son, John P. Doolittle, retired from the Air Force as a Colonel, and his grandson, Colonel James H. Doolittle III, was the vice commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
  • 1957
    From 1957 to 1958, he was chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).
    More Details Hide Details This period was during the events of Sputnik, Vanguard and Explorer. He was the last person to hold this position, as the NACA was superseded by NASA. Doolittle was offered the job of being the first administrator of NASA, but he turned it down.
  • 1954
    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.
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  • 1951
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The report "Airports And Their Neighbors" led to zoning requirements for buildings near approaches, early noise control requirements, and initial work on "super airports" with 10,000 ft runways, suited to 150 ton aircraft. Doolittle was appointed a life member of the MIT Corporation, the university's board of trustees, an uncommon permanent appointment, and served as an MIT Corporation Member for 40 years.
  • 1948
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Since 19 February 1943, when he took command of the Allied Strategic Air Force (Northwest Africa), General Doolittle, by his untiring energy, initiative and personal example has inspired the units under him to renewed successful efforts against the enemy. On 5 April 1943, the strategic air force was responsible for the destruction of forty eight enemy planes in the air and approximately 100 on the ground. This extraordinary achievement under the leadership of General Doolittle reflects great credit to himself and the armed forces of the United States. Doolittle was invested into the Sovereign Order of Cyprus and his medallion is now on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Doolittle was also awarded the Bolivian Order of the Condor of the Andes, now in the collection of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. In 1967 James H. Doolittle was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and in 1972 he was awarded the Horatio Alger Award, which is given to those who are dedicated community leaders who demonstrate individual initiative and a commitment to excellence; as exemplified by remarkable achievements accomplished through honesty, hard work, self-reliance and perseverance over adversity. The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. bears the name of the renowned author Horatio Alger, Jr., whose tales of overcoming adversity through unyielding perseverance and basic moral principles captivated the public in the late 19th century.
  • 1947
    In 1947, Doolittle also became the first president of the Air Force Association, an organization which he helped create.
    More Details Hide Details In 1948, Doolittle advocated the desegregation of the US military. "I am convinced," emphasized Doolittle, "that the solution to the situation is to forget that they are colored." Industry was in the process of integrating, Doolittle said, "and it is going to be forced on the military. You are merely postponing the inevitable and you might as well take it gracefully."
    On 18 September 1947, his reserve commission as a general officer was transferred to the newly established United States Air Force.
    More Details Hide Details Doolittle returned to Shell Oil as a vice president, and later as a director.
  • 1946
    However, the 8th was not scheduled to be at full strength until February 1946 and Doolittle declined to rush 8th Air Force units into combat saying that "If the war is over, I will not risk one airplane nor a single bomber crew member just to be able to say the 8th Air Force had operated against the Japanese in the Pacific". On 27 March 1946, Doolittle was requested by Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson to head a commission on the relationships between officers and enlisted men in the US Army.
    More Details Hide Details Called the "Doolittle Board", or informally the "GI Gripes Board", many of the recommendations were implemented for the postwar volunteer US Army, though many professional officers and noncommissioned officers thought the Board "destroyed the discipline of the Army". After the Korean War columnist Hanson Baldwin said the Doolittle Board "caused severe damage to service effectiveness by recommendations intended to 'democratize' the Army - a concept that is self-contradictory". Jimmy Doolittle became acquainted with the field of Space Science in its infancy. He wrote in his autobiography, "I became interested in rocket development in the 1930s when I met Robert H. Goddard, who laid the foundation the US. While with ShellOil I worked with him on the development of a type of rocket fuel." Harry Guggenheim, whose foundation sponsored Goddard's work, and Charles Lindbergh, who encouraged Goddard's efforts, arranged for (then Major) Doolittle to discuss with Goddard a special blend of gasoline. Doolittle piloted himself to Roswell, New Mexico in October 1938 and was given a tour of Goddard's workshop and a "short course" in rocketry and space travel. He then wrote a memo, including a rather detailed description of Goddard's rocket. In closing he said, "interplanetary transportation is probably a dream of the very distant future, but with the moon only a quarter of a million miles away—who knows!" In July 1941 he wrote Goddard that he was still interested in rocket propulsion research.
    In the summer of 1946, Doolittle went to Stockholm where he was consulted about the "ghost rockets" that had been observed over Scandinavia.
    More Details Hide Details
    He retired from the United States Army on 10 May 1946.
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    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.
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  • 1943
    Doolittle's major influence on the European air war occurred early in the year when he changed the policy requiring escorting fighters to remain with the bombers at all times - this was partly due to help from the British Royal Navy's best test pilot, Eric Brown flight-testing all three major American fighter designs (P-38, P-47 and the then-new, Packard Merlin-powered P-51B) being used for such escort duties, along with at least two other pilots (Sqn Ldr James "Jimmy" Nelson and Sqn Ldr Douglas Weightman) from the RAE's Aerodynamics Flight test unit late in 1943 and into the initial months of 1944.
    More Details Hide Details Following Brown's testing and evaluations, Doolittle's initiatives at improving the effectiveness of American fighter "protection" for the Eighth's strategic bomber forces went into effect. These tasks were initially performed with Lockheed P-38 Lightnings and Republic P-47 Thunderbolts through the end of 1943, with both earlier types being steadily replaced with the long-ranged North American P-51 Mustangs as the spring of 1944 wore on. Doolittle's changes got American fighter pilots on bomber defense missions flying far ahead of the bombers' combat box formations in air supremacy mode, "clearing the skies" of any Luftwaffe fighter opposition heading towards the target. This strategy fatally disabled the twin-engined Zerstörergeschwader heavy fighter wings and their replacement, single-engined Sturmgruppen of heavily armed Fw 190As, clearing each force of bomber destroyers in their turn from Germany's skies throughout most of 1944. As part of this game-changing strategy, especially after the bombers had hit their targets, the USAAF's fighters were then free to strafe German airfields and transport while returning to base.
    Maj Gen Doolittle took command of the Fifteenth Air Force in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in November 1943.
    More Details Hide Details On June 10, he flew as co-pilot with Jack Sims, fellow Tokyo Raider, in a B-26 Marauder of the 320th Bombardment Group, 442nd Bombardment Squadron on a mission to attack gun emplacements at Pantelleria. Doolittle continued to fly, despite the risk of capture, while being privy to the Ultra secret, which was that the German encryption systems had been broken by the British. From January 1944 to September 1945, he held his largest command, the Eighth Air Force (8 AF) in England as a Lieutenant General, his promotion date being March 13, 1944 and the highest rank ever held by an active reserve officer in modern times.
  • 1942
    He was promoted to Major General in November 1942, and in March 1943 became commanding general of the Northwest African Strategic Air Force, a unified command of U.S. Army Air Force and Royal Air Force units.
    More Details Hide Details In September, he commanded a raid against the Italian town of Battipaglia that was so thorough in its destruction that General Carl Andrew Spaatz sent him a joking message: "You're slipping Jimmy. There's one crabapple tree and one stable still standing."
    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.
    More Details Hide Details This followed the rejection of his name by General Douglas MacArthur as commander of the Southwest Pacific Area to replace Major General George Brett. Major General Frank Andrews first turned down the position, and, offered a choice between George Kenney and Doolittle, MacArthur chose Kenney. In September, Doolittle became commanding general of the Twelfth Air Force, soon to be operating in North Africa.
  • 1941
    Following the reorganization of the Army Air Corps into the USAAF in June 1941, Doolittle was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on January 2, 1942, and assigned to Army Air Forces Headquarters to plan the first retaliatory air raid on the Japanese homeland.
    More Details Hide Details He volunteered for and received General H.H. Arnold's approval to lead the top secret attack of 16 B-25 medium bombers from the aircraft carrier, with targets in Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, Osaka and Nagoya. After training at Eglin Field and Wagner Field in northwest Florida, Doolittle, his aircraft, and flight crews proceeded to McClellan Field, California for aircraft modifications at the Sacramento Air Depot, followed by a short final flight to Naval Air Station Alameda, California for embarkation aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. On April 18, the bombers took off from the Hornet, reached Japan, and bombed their targets. Fifteen of the planes then headed for their recovery airfield in China, while one crew chose to land in Russia due to their bomber's unusually high fuel consumption. As did most of the other crewmen who participated in the mission, Doolittle's crew bailed out safely over China when their bomber ran out of fuel. By then they had been flying for about 12 hours, it was nighttime, the weather was stormy, and Doolittle was unable to locate their landing field. Doolittle came down in a rice paddy (saving a previously injured ankle from breaking) near Chuchow (Quzhou). He and his crew linked up after the bailout and were helped through Japanese lines by Chinese guerrillas and American missionary John Birch. Other aircrews were not so fortunate. Although most eventually reached safety with the help of friendly Chinese, four crewmembers lost their lives as a result of being captured by the Japanese and three due to aircraft crash or while parachuting.
  • 1940
    Doolittle returned to active duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps on July 1, 1940 with rank of Major.
    More Details Hide Details He was assigned as the assistant district supervisor of the Central Air Corps Procurement District at Indianapolis, and Detroit, where he worked with large auto manufacturers on the conversion of their plants for production of planes. The following August, he went to England as a member of a special mission and brought back information about other countries' air forces and military build-ups.
    In 1940, he became president of the Institute of Aeronautical Science.
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  • 1934
    In April 1934, Doolittle was selected to be a member of the Baker Board.
    More Details Hide Details Chaired by former Secretary of War Newton D. Baker, the board was convened during the Air Mail scandal to study Air Corps organization.
  • 1930
    Doolittle resigned his regular commission on February 15, 1930, and was commissioned a Major in the Air Reserve Corps a month later, being named manager of the Aviation Department of Shell Oil Company, in which capacity he conducted numerous aviation tests.
    More Details Hide Details While in the Reserve, he also returned to temporary active duty with the Army frequently to conduct tests. Doolittle helped influence Shell Oil Company to produce the first quantities of 100 octane aviation gasoline. High octane fuel was crucial to the high-performance planes that were developed in the late 1930s. In 1931, Doolittle won the Bendix Trophy race from Burbank, California, to Cleveland, in a Laird Super Solution biplane. In 1932, Doolittle set the world's high speed record for land planes at 296 miles per hour in the Shell Speed Dash. Later, he took the Thompson Trophy race at Cleveland in the notorious Gee Bee R-1 racer with a speed averaging 252 miles per hour. After having won the three big air racing trophies of the time, the Schneider, Bendix, and Thompson, he officially retired from air racing stating, "I have yet to hear anyone engaged in this work dying of old age."
    In January 1930, he advised the Army on the construction of Floyd Bennett Field in New York City.
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  • 1929
    In 1929, he became the first pilot to take off, fly and land an airplane using instruments alone, without a view outside the cockpit.
    More Details Hide Details Having returned to Mitchel Field that September, he assisted in the development of fog flying equipment. He helped develop, and was then the first to test, the now universally used artificial horizon and directional gyroscope. He attracted wide newspaper attention with this feat of "blind" flying and later received the Harmon Trophy for conducting the experiments. These accomplishments made all-weather airline operations practical.
  • 1927
    During this time, in 1927 he was the first to perform an outside loop previously thought to be a fatal maneuver.
    More Details Hide Details Carried out in a Curtiss fighter at Wright Field in Ohio, Doolittle executed the dive from 10,000 feet, reached 280 miles per hour, bottomed out upside down, then climbed and completed the loop. Doolittle's most important contribution to aeronautical technology was the development of instrument flying. He was the first to recognize that true operational freedom in the air could not be achieved unless pilots developed the ability to control and navigate aircraft in flight, from takeoff run to landing rollout, regardless of the range of vision from the cockpit. Doolittle was the first to envision that a pilot could be trained to use instruments to fly through fog, clouds, precipitation of all forms, darkness, or any other impediment to visibility; and in spite of the pilot's own possibly convoluted motion sense inputs. Even at this early stage, the ability to control aircraft was getting beyond the motion sense capability of the pilot. That is, as aircraft became faster and more maneuverable, pilots could become seriously disoriented without visual cues from outside the cockpit, because aircraft could move in ways that pilots' senses could not accurately decipher.
    He returned to the United States, and was confined to Walter Reed Army Hospital for his injuries until April 1927.
    More Details Hide Details Doolittle was then assigned to McCook Field for experimental work, with additional duty as an instructor pilot to the 385th Bomb Squadron of the Air Corps Reserve.
  • 1926
    The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Distinguished Flying Cross to Colonel (Air Corps) James Harold Doolittle (ASN: 0-271855), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary achievement as Pilot of a B-25 Bomber and Commanding Officer of the 1st Special Aviation Project (Doolittle Raider Force), while participating in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland on 18 April 1942.
    More Details Hide Details Colonel Doolittle with 79 other officers and enlisted men volunteered for this mission knowing full well that the chances of survival were extremely remote, and executed his part in it with great skill and daring. This achievement reflects high credit on himself and the military service. Citation:
    The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second 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. During March 1924, at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, Lieutenant Doolittle, piloting a Fokker PW-7 pursuit airplane, performed a series of acceleration tests requiring skill, initiative, endurance, and courage of the highest type.
    More Details Hide Details In these tests a recording accelerometer was mounted in the airplane and the accelerations taken for the following maneuvers. Loops at various air speeds; single and multiple barrel rolls; power spirals; tail spins; power on and power off; half loop, half roll, and Immelmann turn; inverted flight; pulling out of dive at various air speeds; flying the airplane on a level course with considerable angle of bank; and flying in bumpy air. In these tests the airplane was put through the most extreme maneuvers possible in order that the flight loads imposed upon the wings of the airplane under extreme conditions of air combat might be ascertained. These tests were put through with that fine combination of fearlessness and skill which constitutes the essence of distinguished flying. Through them scientific data of great and permanent importance to the Air Corps were obtained.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details On 4–5 September 1922, Lieutenant Doolittle accomplished a one-stop flight from Pablo Beach, Florida, to San Diego, California, in 22 hours and 30 minutes elapsed time, an extraordinary achievement with the equipment available at that time. By his skill, endurance, and resourcefulness he demonstrated the possibility of moving Air Corps units to any portion of the United States in less than 24 hours, thus reflecting great credit on himself and to the Army of the United States. 2nd Citation:
  • 1925
    He won the Schneider Cup race in a Curtiss R3C in 1925 with an average speed of 232 MPH.
    More Details Hide Details For that feat, Doolittle was awarded the Mackay Trophy in 1926. In April 1926, Doolittle was given a leave of absence to go to South America to perform demonstration flights. In Chile, he broke both ankles, but put his P-1 Hawk through aerial maneuvers with his ankles in casts.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details His doctorate in aeronautical engineering was the first ever issued in the United States. He said that he considered his master's work more significant than his doctorate. Following graduation, Doolittle attended special training in high-speed seaplanes at Naval Air Station Anacostia in Washington, D.C.. He also served with the Naval Test Board at Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York, and was a familiar figure in air speed record attempts in the New York area.
  • 1924
    He received his M.S. in Aeronautics from MIT in June 1924.
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    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.
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  • 1922
    Doolittle was one of the most famous pilots during the inter-war period. In September 1922, he made the first of many pioneering flights, flying a de Havilland DH-4 – which was equipped with early navigational instruments – in the first cross-country flight, from Pablo Beach (now Jacksonville Beach), Florida, to Rockwell Field, San Diego, California, in 21 hours and 19 minutes, making only one refueling stop at Kelly Field.
    More Details Hide Details The U.S. Army awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross. Within days after the transcontinental flight, he was at the Air Service Engineering School (a precursor to the Air Force Institute of Technology) at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio. For Doolittle, the school assignment had special significance: "In the early '20s, there was not complete support between the flyers and the engineers. The pilots thought the engineers were a group of people who zipped slide rules back and forth, came out with erroneous results and bad aircraft; and the engineers thought the pilots were crazy – otherwise they wouldn't be pilots. So some of us who had previous engineering training were sent to the engineering school at old McCook Field.... After a year's training there in practical aeronautical engineering, some of us were sent on to MIT where we took advanced degrees in aeronautical engineering. I believe that the purpose was served, that there was thereafter a better understanding between pilots and engineers."
    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.
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  • 1921
    On May 10, 1921, he was engineering officer and pilot for an expedition recovering a plane that had force-landed in a Mexican canyon on February 10 during a transcontinental flight attempt by Lieut.
    More Details Hide Details Alexander Pearson. Doolittle reached the plane on May 3 and found it serviceable, then returned May 8 with a replacement motor and four mechanics. The oil pressure of the new motor was inadequate and Doolittle requested two pressure gauges, using carrier pigeons to communicate. The additional parts were dropped by air and installed, and Doolittle flew the plane to Del Rio, Texas himself, taking off from a 400-yard airstrip hacked out of the canyon floor.
  • 1920
    Recommended by three officers for retention in the Air Service during demobilization at the end of the war, Doolittle qualified by examination and received a Regular Army commission as a 1st Lieutenant, Air Service, on July 1, 1920.
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  • 1918
    The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Major General James Harold Doolittle (ASN: 0-271855), United States Army Air Forces, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commander of the Northwest African Strategic Air Force since its organization.
    More Details Hide Details Under his guidance and direction, this Force has developed a high degree of efficiency and accuracy and brought about, in great measure, a critical reduction in the supplies and reinforcements needed by the enemy. General Doolittle's energy, good judgment, exceptional qualities of leadership and wholehearted cooperation were primary factors in the ultimate success of air operations during the Tunisian Campaign. 2nd Citation: Lieutenant General James Harold Doolittle (ASN: 0-271855), United States Army Air Forces, is awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commander of the Eighth Air Force. 1st Citation:
    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.
    More Details Hide Details During World War I, Doolittle stayed in the United States as a flight instructor and performed his war service at Camp John Dick Aviation Concentration Center ("Camp Dick"), Texas; Wright Field, Ohio; Gerstner Field, Louisiana; Rockwell Field, California; Kelly Field, Texas and Eagle Pass, Texas. Doolittle's service at Rockwell Field consisted of duty as a flight leader and gunnery instructor. At Kelly Field, he served with the 104th Aero Squadron and with the 90th Aero Squadron of the 1st Surveillance Group. His detachment of the 90th Aero Squadron was based at Eagle Pass, patrolling the Mexican border.
  • 1917
    Doolittle married Josephine "Joe" E. Daniels on December 24, 1917.
    More Details Hide Details At a dinner celebration after Jimmy Doolittle's first all-instrument flight in 1929, Josephine Doolittle asked her guests to sign her white damask tablecloth. Later, she embroidered the names in black. She continued this tradition, collecting hundreds of signatures from the aviation world. The tablecloth was donated to the Smithsonian Institution. Married for over 70 years, Josephine Doolittle died in 1988, five years before her husband. The Doolittles had two sons, James Jr., and John. Both became military officers and pilots. James Jr. was an A-26 Invader pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II and later a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force in the late 1940s through the late 1950s.
    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.
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  • 1910
    When his school attended the 1910 Los Angeles International Air Meet at Dominguez Field Doolittle saw his first airplane.
    More Details Hide Details He attended Los Angeles City College after graduating from Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, and later won admission to the University of California, Berkeley where he studied in The School of Mines. He was a member of Theta Kappa Nu fraternity, which would merge into Lambda Chi Alpha during the latter stages of the Great Depression.
  • 1896
    Born on December 14, 1896.
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