Doolittle Defined by Integrity

The one word to describe the late Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, Medal of Honor recipient, aviation pioneer, and famed World War II air commander, is integrity, said Jonna Doolittle Hoppes, his granddaughter. He led by example, didn’t micromanage, and displayed an unwavering commitment to his airmen, she told AFA’s Pacific Air & Space Symposium in Los Angeles on Nov. 22. Doolittle also had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a love of truth that defined him, she said. “My grandfather never stopped learning,” even into the years shortly before his death, she said. He died in 1993 at age 96. Doolittle was also very courageous, she said, noting that he was originally not meant to go on the famous bombing raid against Tokyo in April 1942 that carries his name, but he successfully pressed to accompany his men on the dangerous mission. After World War II, he chaired the board that found in favor of enlisted personnel who complained about unfair treatment during the war, she said, citing that as another example of his courage. When Doolittle received the Medal of Honor for the bombing raid, he accepted it on behalf of all the Raiders, said Hoppes.