The Gee Bee, B-25’s, and the Medal of Honor: Spotlight on James “Jimmy” Doolittle

Posted by on March 27, 2008

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With his contributions in both aeronautics as well as American history, James “Jimmy” Doolittle was great figure in American history. In doing research for this post today, I found out he was boxer (ever notice how many figures in American history have boxing experience?), test pilot, general, and even consulted on space matters! While he is best known for the Tokyo raid in 1942, his influence covered a number of different areas as well.

His racing exploits are legendary. Helping to pilot in the beginning years of aviation, he found success with the stubby but quick Gee Bee racer.

“…In a preliminary run with the Gee Bee, Doolittle broke the existing speed record with an average of 296.287 mph and won a prize of $1,575. Two days later, he won the Thompson Trophy Race and its $4,500 prize by beating the fastest pilots in the world…”

(Source: Air Force Magazine)

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His World War II era experience covered both the famous Doolittle raid as well as commanding Air Forces in the European Theater.

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Postwar, his contributions included assistance with the various Air Force missile programs.

If you have a minute, check the links below for biographies, photos, and other experiences.

Have a great day, see you tomorrow!


Links:

Doolittle Raid Footage (Internet Archive)

American Air Racing History (Gee Bee)

12th Air Force History (Doolittle was commander)

Wikipedia: James Doolittle

Books about James Doolittle (AF link)

Air Force Link: Doolittle Bio

Sources:

(1)Air Force Link

(2-3)Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

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