James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle

Tokyo Raiders

General James H. Doolittle was born in Alameda, California, on December 14, 1896. His parents then moved to Nome, Alaska, where he stayed until 1908. After high school and college in California, he enlisted in the Army Signal Corps in 1917. He received his doctorate in aeronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1925. He stayed in the Army Air Reserves after he left the military in 1930 and distinguished himself by flying experimental aircraft and winning the Bendix Trophy for setting a transcontinental flying record. In 1940, Major Doolittle was called back into the Army Air Corps as a member of the staff of General "Hap" Arnold. After leading the Tokyo Raiders as a lieutenant colonel in 1942, he was promoted to brigadier general and given command of the Northwest Africa Strategic Air Force. In November 1943, he took command of the 15th Air Force. In January 1944, he became the commander of Eighth Air Force. President Reagan awarded him a fourth star on June 13, 1985.
After the war, Doolittle left military service, but remained involved with aircraft and space ventures. He was chairman of the US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 1955 through 11000 as well as chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics from 1956 to 11000. He was also active in the Air Force Association and visited the Air Force Academy several times. Doolittle Raider goblets formerly displayed at USAFA are now on exhibit at National Museum of the Air Force, Ohio. At the Air Force Academy, the Association of Graduates building is named Doolittle Hall in his honor. General Doolittle died on September 17, 1993, in California.

In 2007 The Friends sponsored a project to select photographs from albums in the Doolittle Collection.


Rockwell Field, San Diego, California     

James H. Doolittle, probably as an aviation cadet. Circa 1918.

Charles Lindbergh

Left to Right: Navy Pilot Alford J. Williams, Charles A. Lindbergh, & James H. Doolittle. Believed to be taken during the National Air Races. Circa 1930.

Transcontinental Record

Josephine and James Doolittle with the Vultee V-1A Airliner in which James Doolittle set a world speed record in January 1935 over a recognized course (Burbank, California to Brooklyn, New York), in 11 hours, 59 minutes with an average speed of 205.04 miles per hour.

Doolittle's Raiders

Major General James Doolittle, his tokyo bombing crew and some Chinese friends are pictured in China after the U.S. Airmen bailed out following the Doolittle air raid on Japan, April 18, 1942. (U.S.A.A.F. Photo)

Left to Right: SSgt F. A. Braemer, SSgt P. J. Leonard, Unidentified Chinese, 1st Lt. R. E. Cole, General Doolittle, Unidentifed Chinese,1st Lt H. A. Potter, Unidentified Chinese.

Harmon Trophy

Left to Right: James Doolittle, President Harry Truman, Jacqueline Cochran, Charles Yeager, Others Unknown. Presentation of 1950 Harmon Trophy to Doolittle and Cochran.

SAC B-52

James Doolittle (Far Left in Photo, Right), others unknown. Ready for a SAC B-52 training flight at Castle AFB, California. August 25, 1955.

Inset Photo (Left): James Doolittle in the cockpit of the B-52.

18th Doolittle Raiders Reunion

(Photo, Right): Josephine Doolittle (5th Left), James Doolittle (10th Left), Cadet Charles Neel (Left), Alex Drier (2nd Left), Col Travis Hoover (3rd Left). April 19-20, 1960.

Inset Photo, (Left): Col. Everett "Brick" Holstrom, James Doolittle, and Col. Travis Hoover.