Gen. 'Jimmy' Doolittle
- book & print portfolio -
by Robert Taylor
Few aviators have had such an impact on the history of flight - intrepid pioneer, record breaker, award winner, outstanding aeronautical engineer or celebrated commander, all describe the man Robert Taylor has chosen as the latest figure to feature in his ground-breaking Icons of Flight series. That figure is General Jimmy Doolittle - best known as the man who led the famous first raid on Tokyo for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
|Overall size: 20" x 34¼"||Available in the following editions|
|20||Icons of Flight||Two giclée prints, matted to include the original signature of Gen. 'Jimmy' Doolittle.||$3195|
|Overseas orders: Shipping charges apply to orders delivered outside the U.S., please call or email for quote.|
Both drawings in this highly-restricted edition are reproduced by one of Europe’s leading Giclée printers with output to the highest standards of certified digital print-making and reproduced on museum quality archival papers. What happens next, however, is at the heart of this new series. Robert personally takes over proceedings, transforming each proof into a unique work through the application of subtle embellishments, elegant highlights and refined tonal application of muted colour washes.
Each pair of drawings is matted to full conservation standards in a single composition that includes an original and fully authenticated autograph of the man himself, together with high quality replica Command Pilot Wings
The portfolio is completed with a matching-numbered biographical book specially written for this release which is beautifully illustrated by Robert and Richard Taylor.
James Harold Doolittle was born in Alameda, Calif., in 1896. He was educated in Nome, Alaska, Los Angeles Junior College, and spent a year at the University of California School of Mines. He enlisted as a flying cadet in the Signal Corps Reserve in October 1917 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Signal Corps' Aviation Section March 11, 1918.
On July 1, 1920 Doolittle got his regular commission and promotion to first lieutenant. In September 1922 he made the first of many pioneering flights which earned him most of the major air trophies of the time, and international fame.
He flew a DH-4 , in the first cross-country flight, from Pablo Beach, Fla., to San Diego, Calif., in 21 hours and 19 minutes. The military gave him the Distinguished Flying Cross for this historic feat. In the same year he received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
In March 1924 he served at McCook Field conducting aircraft acceleration tests. In June 1925 Doolittle went to the Naval Air Station in Washington, D.C., for special training in flying high-speed seaplanes. During this period he served for a while with the Naval Test Board at Mitchel, N.Y., and was a familiar figure in airspeed record attempts in the New York area. He won the Schneider Cup Race in 1925, with an average speed of 232 miles per hour in a Curtiss Navy racer equipped with pontoons. This was the fastest a seaplane had ever flown, and Doolittle next year received the Mackay Trophy for this feat.
In April 1926 he got a leave of absence to go to South America on airplane demonstration flights. In Chile he broke both ankles but put his Curtiss P-1 through stirring aerial maneuvers with his ankles in casts. He returned to the United States and was in Walter Reed Hospital for these injuries until April 1927 when he was assigned to McCook Field for experimental work and additional duty as instructor with Organized Reserves of the Fifth Corps Area's 385th Bomb Squadron.
In April 1934 Doolittle became a member of the Army Board to study Air Corps organization and a year later was transferred to the Air Corps Reserve. In 1940 he became president of the Institute of Aeronautical Science. He went back on active duty July 1, 1940 as a major and assistant district supervisor of the Central Air Corps Procurement District at Indianapolis, Ind., and Detroit, Mich., 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 buildups.
He was promoted to lieutenant colonel Jan 2, 1942 and went to Headquarters Army Air Force to plan the first aerial raid on the Japanese homeland. He volunteered and received Gen. H.H. Arnold's approval to lead the attack of 16 B-25 bombers from the aircraft carrier Hornet, with targets in Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka, and Nagoya. The daring one-way mission April 18, 1942 electrified the world and gave America's war hopes a terrific lift. As did the others who participated in the mission, Doolittle had to bail out, but fortunately landed in a rice paddy in China near Chu Chow. Some of the other flyers lost their lives on the mission.
Doolittle received the Medal of Honor, presented to him by President Roosevelt at the White House, for planning and leading this successful operation. His citation reads: "For conspicuous leadership above and beyond 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, Lt. Col. Doolittle personally led a squadron of Army bombers, manned by volunteer crews, in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland." In addition to the nation's top award, Doolittle also received two Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Star, four Air Medals, and decorations from Great Britain, France, Belgium, Poland, China and Ecuador.
In July 1942, as a brigadier general - he had been advanced two grades the day after the Tokyo attack - Doolittle was assigned to the 8th Air Force and in September became commanding general of the 12th Air Force in North Africa. He was promoted to major general in November and in March 1943 became commanding general of the North African Strategic Air Forces.
He took command of the 15th Air Force in the Mediterranean Theater in November and from January 1944 to September 1945 he commanded the 8th Air Force.
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