Jimmy Doolittle

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Dr. James Harold Doolittle

Lt Gen. James Doolittle
Nickname "Jimmy"
Born December 14, 1896(1896-12-14)
Alameda, California
Died September 27, 1993(1993-09-27) (aged 96)
Pebble Beach, California
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Flag of the United States Air Force United States Air Force
United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Corps
United States Army Air Service
Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps
Years of service 1917–1959
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held Twelfth Air Force
Fifteenth Air Force
Eighth Air Force
Battles/wars Mexican Border Service
World War I (Stateside Duty)
World War II
*Pacific Campaign
**Doolittle Raid
*Mediterranean Campaign
*European Campaign
Cold War
*Korean War (Stateside Duty)
Awards

Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross (3)

Air Medal (4)
Other work Shell Oil, VP, Director
Space Technology Laboratories, Chairman

General/Doctor James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle, USAF (December 14, 1896 – September 27, 1993) 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.

Early life and education[change | edit source]

Doolittle was born in Alameda, California. He spent his youth in Nome, Alaska where he earned a reputation as a boxer. His parents were Frank Henry Doolittle and Rosa (Rose) Cerenah Shephard. By 1910, Jimmy Doolittle was attending school in Los Angeles. When his school attended the 1910 Los Angeles International Air Meet at Dominguez Field Doolittle saw his first airplane.[1] He attended Los Angeles City College after graduating from Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles. He 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. Doolittle took a leave of absence in October 1917 to enlist in the Signal Corps Reserve as a flying cadet. He did his ground training at the University of California School of Military Aeronautics where he later received his doctorate. His flight-training was done at Rockwell Field, California. Doolittle received his Reserve Military Aviator rating. He was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Signal Officers Reserve Corps on March 11, 1918.

Honors and awards[change | edit source]

Military honors[change | edit source]

Medal of Honor citation[change | edit source]

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.[2]

Army Distinguished Service medal citation[change | edit source]

Citation:

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. 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.[3]

Distinguished Flying Cross citations[change | edit source]

1st Citation:

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. 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.[3]

2nd 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. In these test 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 immelman 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 test 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 sir combat might, be ascertained. These test 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.[3]

3rd Citation:

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. 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.[3]

Silver Star citation[change | edit source]

Citation:

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. 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.[3]

Other honors[change | edit source]

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.[4]

In 1972 James H. Doolittle 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.[5]

In April 1985, Doolittle was awarded a fourth star making him a full ranked general. He received the award from President Ronald Reagan and U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater.

The Society of Experimental Test Pilots annually presents the James H. Doolittle Award in his memory. The award is for "outstanding accomplishment in technical management or engineering achievement in aerospace technology".

The city of Doolittle, Missouri, located 5 miles west of Rolla was named in his honor after World War II.

In popular culture[change | edit source]

Related pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

Notes
Bibliography

Other websites[change | edit source]