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Doolittle, James Harold
1896 - 1993
Doolittle, James Harold
1917 Joined Army.
1920 Posted to air corps.
1922 Sep, 04 Made first coast-to-coast flight across U.S. (Pablo Beach, FL to Rockwell Field, CA.) which took less than 24 hours.
1925 Oct, 26 Won Schneider trophy for US at Chesapeake Bay. Flew an R3C-2 biplane (seaplane), avg. speed 232.56mph.
1927 Jan, 12 Granted leave of absence from army to demo Curtiss P-1 pursuit plane to Chilean gov't. Falls from balcony during party, breaks his ankles. During recovery, demos plane by fastening his cast-enclosed feet to the pedals. Wins contract over competition.
1927 May, 24 Dayton, Ohio. First aviator to perform an "outside loop" (previously thought to be a fatal maneuver) at Wright Field. Flying a Curtiss fighter, executed dive from 10,000 ft., reached 280mph, bottomed out upside down, climbed and completed the loop.
1929 Sep, 24 Made world's first instrument-only flight over 15 mile course at Mitchell Field, NY. His Consolidated NY-2 was specially outfitted with instrumentation, much of his own development.
1930 Retired from Army and joined Shell Oil company.
1931 Sep, 04 Won $10,000 Bendix Prize. Flew cross-country in 11hrs, 16mins, 10secs, with an average speed of 223mph.
1932 Sep, 03 Wins Thompson Trophy race in Cleveland, Ohio, and sets world speed record for landplanes. He flew a Granville Gee Bee R-1 and averaged 294mph over the 3km (1.86mi) course.
1940 Returned to military aviation.
1942 Apr, 17 "Doolittle Raid" executed -- conceived and organized by then Lieutenant-Colonel Doolittle . 16 USAAF B-25 bombers flew off the aircraft carrier USS Hornet against mainland Japan, launched from 650mi out. Bombs fell on Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka and Nogoya.
1944 From 1944-45 commanded US Eigth Army Air Force in England, as lietenant-general.
1946 First president of the Air Force Association.
1950 Jul, 05 Named aviator of the decade by the Harmon International Aviation Awards committe.