January 18, 2018
King of Speed, James “Jimmy” Doolittle
Introducing James Harold Doolittle, “One of the
Privileges of age is the opportunity to sit back in ponder what you’ve seen and
done over the years. In my nine-plus decades, I’ve formed some views about life
and living that I have freely imposed on trusting audiences, both readers and
listeners. I have concluded that we were all put on this earth for a purpose.
That purpose is to make it, within our capabilities, a better place in which to
live. We can do this by painting a picture, writing a poem, building a bridge,
protecting the environment, combating prejudice and injustice, providing help
to those in need, and in thousands of other ways. The criterion is this: if a
man leaves this earth a better place than he had found it, then his life has
been worthwhile.” Doolittle felt he had a purpose in life and that was to serve
others. He did this by increasing his knowledge so that he could improve
aviation and aeronautics. The pilot, Jimmy Doolittle, has set many records and
improved aviation since the Wright brothers. Jimmy Doolittle was an important
pilot in history and had a positive impact on the world because he solved
aviation dilemmas such as “fog flying” and other piloting hindrances.
Doolittle was born to Rosa and Frank on December 14, 1896 was a gold prospector
and carpenter who moved back to LA with his mother. He was a gymnast and boxer
there. Jimmy had a passion for speed and loved racing his motorcycle; he even
broke his leg and thought the motorcycle was way too slow. Jimmy successfully
boxed and earned $30 a fight until he met his future wife, Joe. Joe convinced
Jimmy to start college courses at Berkeley’s School of Mines.
found his passion at the Dominguez field in January 1910. First US aviation
meet west of Mississippi River. He decided to build a glider with a car pulling
him to launch. He crashed. He tried to add a motor and a freak storm destroyed
his chance to even fly it. He also was famous for racing planes, setting
records and earning many trophies. He learned that racing was not for him. (“I
have yet to hear of anyone engaged in this work dying of old age’, and retired
form racing.”) He attended MIT to get a masters and doctoral degree in
became famous in the army and led the Tokyo raid in WWII to avenge Pearl
Harbor. He retired from the Army as a Lt-Gen. and worked for Shell Oil Company.
Ronald Regan promoted him to 4-star general in 1985. Technology disturbed
Doolittle. (“The machine reached forward and man slipped back. Doolittle
believed that a machine’s purpose is to serve man, he considered them useful or
not. Machines allow men to serve others, but they make individuals lazy.”
Doolittle died on September 27, 1993.
earned many doctorate degrees to gain knowledge and became an expert in all
areas of aviation. He earned the doctorates of Law, Engineering, Science and
Military Science. Jimmy’s master thesis earlier on in life was to the study of
stress on a plane before falling apart. This earned him much in notoriety. He
documented the effects of stress on planes, effects of G’s on pilots, and drew
conclusions on causes of blackouts. The New York Times declared, “Aviation has
perhaps taken its greatest single step in safety,” because of Doolittle’s
research with the Guggenheim project. This project answered the problem of “fog
flyin:g”, the greatest killer of pilot’s. Prior to this, Doolittle was earned
fame for flying blind in a Navy training plane, relying only on instruments.
This taught pilots to trust their instruments. Lastly, he was awarded the
congressional medal of honor twice for his heroism.
affected the world in a positive way. He changed aviation drastically after the
Wright Brothers and made the innumerable improvements and contributions. He was
the king of courage and helped pilots all around. He demonstrated this by being
the first pilot to fly across the nation in less than a day.
portrays courage, honor, perseverance and a service. He is an example for
someone like myself to follow. “Your splendid accomplishment in winning the
Jacque Schneider once more proves America’s position among the nations of the
world. The victory has won through your superior knowledge of aeronautics. It
is especially pleasing because of the worth of your competitors. The war
Department is proud of you. I am certain the entire personnel of the American
Army desires to add its congratulations.” James “Jimmy” Doolittle is a man to