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James H. Doolittle Papers

 Collection
Identifier: D022-84

Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence, photographs, records, schedules, itineraries, educational papers, memorabilia, ephemera, speeches including draft materials, magazine articles, clippings, moving images, military documents, audiocassette tapes, reel to reel tapes, videos, DVDs, pilot log books, and other materials that were created and/or collected by Jimmy Doolittle throughout his military and civil career. The James H. Doolittle Papers are housed in 147 boxes of various sizes totaling 75.8 linear ft.

The collection arrived in good condition. The archivist identified seventeen series with the first series being the James H. Doolittle Biographical Material Series. Materials include personal biographical information about the life of James H. Doolittle, military records, schedules, and itineraries.

The second series is the James H. Doolittle Theses Series. Materials consist of copies of James H. Doolittle’s theses and educational papers.

The third series is the James H. Doolittle Awards and Honors Series. Materials contain information about various awards and honors presented to James H. Doolittle.

The fourth series is the James H. Doolittle Speeches Series. Materials comprises of transcripts, copies, drafts, and other materials related to speeches given by James H. Doolittle.

The fifth series is the Tributes Series. Materials holds tributes made by James H. Doolittle about friends, aviation figures, and celebrities.

The sixth series is the Source Files Series, which is further organized into four subseries: 1. Aviation, 2. Locations, 3. The Cold War/Soviets, and 4. Various Topics.

Materials contain information that James H. Doolittle collected as background information on various topics that interested him. Much of this material was used in the writing of Doolittle’s speeches.

Subseries 1. houses information about various aviation topics.

Subseries 2. holds information about various locations including Africa, Alaska, and Southeast Asia.

Subseries 3. contains information about the Soviet Union, preparedness, and the Cold War.

Subseries 4. includes a variety of topics including patriotism, the US economy, Jimmy Doolittle’s blind flight, terrorism, and several other topics.

The seventh series is the James H. Doolittle News and Magazine Clippings Series. Materials hold newspaper and magazine articles about James H. Doolittle, his life, military career, aviation pioneering activities, and the 1942 Raid on Japan.

The eighth series is the Subject Files Series. Materials relate to a number of topics of interest to James H. Doolittle. It includes clubs, memberships, associations, hobbies, employers, television and radio appearances, fund raising and charity work, travel, and a host of other topics covering what James H. Doolittle did throughout his life.

The ninth series is the Correspondence Series. Materials contain Doolittle’s personal and some business correspondence. Additionally Box 113 contains some personal correspondence between James H. Doolittle and his wife Josephine.

The tenth series is the United States Air Force (USAF) Series. Materials hold information collected by Doolittle about the United States Air Force. It includes material about the organization, staff, facilities, operations, equipment, affiliated associations, and history of the United States Air Force and the United States Air Force Academy.

The eleventh series is the Condolences Series, which is further organized into two subseries: 1. Condolence Letters on the Death of Josephine Doolittle and 2. Condolence Letters on the Death of James H. Doolittle.

Subseries 1. contains information, condolence cards, and materials related to the death and funeral of Josephine Doolittle in 1986.

Subseries 2. covers information about James H. Doolittle’s death and funeral in 1993.

The twelfth series is the History of Aviation Archives Doolittle Endowment Series. Materials are made up of documents pertaining to fundraising undertaken by The University of Texas at Dallas, History of Aviation Archives for an endowment for the Doolittle Library.

The thirteenth series is the Photographic Material Series. Materials contain images, 35mm slides, stereopticon slides, and negatives of James H. Doolittle form various points in his life and his career, as well as of other related topics.

The fourteenth series is the Multimedia Material Series. Materials are audio cassette tapes, reel to reel tapes, videos, USB stick, and DVDs related to the life and career of James H. Doolittle.

The fifteenth series is the Artifacts and Memorabilia Series. Materials include memorabilia and artifacts from James H. Doolittle’s career and life, including plaques, resolutions, pins, posters, framed and signed photographs, and ceremonial items.

The sixteenth series is the Doolittle Logbooks and Notebooks on Microfilm Series. Materials contain five of rolls of microfilm possessing copies of Doolittle’s Logbooks and personal notebooks as well as the originals.

The seventeenth series is the Supplementary Material Series. Materials include narratives, speeches, biographical information, photographs, and the Van Nonstrand File.

Dates

  • 1913 - 2007
  • Majority of material found within 1925 - 1996

Language of Materials

Collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.

Biographical Sketch

James Harold “Jimmy” Doolittle was born December 14, 1896 in Alameda, California. Spending time growing up in Alaska and Los Angeles, Doolittle became interested in flying when he attended the Los Angeles Aviation Meet in 1913. Doolittle pursued further education in engineering, as well as meeting Josephine Daniels (often called Jo), who he would marry in 1917. 1918 found Doolittle in the army and undergoing flight training at Rockwell Field near San Diego, CA. Doolittle continued to set a number of speed records with his flying including winning the Schneider Trophy Race in 1925.

In 1929, Doolittle made his first major contribution to aviation by pioneering blind flight of aircraft. Flying a modified Consolidated NY-2 Trainer, Doolittle demonstrated that an airplane could take off and land by instruments only, and won the Guggenheim Prize. In 1929, Doolittle took a job flying for Shell Oil Company, while continuing to set speed records, including winning the 1932 Thompson Trophy in his Gee Bee 1 Racer.

Events of the 1930s caused Doolittle to desire his return to active duty with the U.S. Army. He was first put in charge of figuring out problems with the Martin B-26 Marauder. Then after Japan attacked the United States in 1941, and the US entered the war, Doolittle was put in charge of a special mission. He, along with eighty volunteers, learned to take off in an extremely short distance with a North American B-25 Mitchell bomber. The bombers were then loaded onto the USS Hornet and in April of 1942 set off for Japan. The plan was to take off from the carrier, bomb Japan, and then land in China. However, the fleet was detected and the decision was made to launch the attack 400 miles early. The planes were able to hit their targets in Japan, but were forced down short of the landing fields in China. Eventually Doolittle and his surviving men were found by friendly Chinese and returned to allied hands. For his part in the raid, Doolittle received the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Franklin Roosevelt.

After the raid, Doolittle continued to serve the Army Air Corps in World War II, including a morale raising tour of defense facilities, serving as the commander of the 12th Air Force in North Africa, the 8th Air Force in Europe, and finally being transferred to the Pacific Theater for the end of World War II. In 1947, Doolittle threw a party for the surviving raiders, and this became the nucleus of the Doolittle Raider’s Association and their yearly reunions.

After the war, Doolittle retired from the Army and took a job with Mutual of Omaha. He spent a lot of time touring the country giving speeches, and received numerous awards and honors. He also found time to pursue his passion for hunting, including going on Safari in Africa and completing several hunting feats. He traveled as well, visiting both the Soviet Union and Antarctica. He remained active in politics, playing a major role in Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Presidential Campaign.

Doolittle continued his association with the men who participated in the raid, attending the reunions held by the Doolittle Raider’s Association. He was often asked questions about the raid as well as his aviation experiences, and provided his expertise to numerous articles, interviews, and television documentaries. In 1991 Doolittle collaborated with Col. C.V. Glines USAF (ret.) on his autobiography I Could Never Be So Lucky Again. James H. Doolittle passed away on September 27, 1993 at the age of ninety-six.

Sources

Source
"James H. Doolittle Papers", Biographical Information, Folder 1, Box 1, Series I, History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Source
Glines, C.V. "Jimmy Doolittle: Master of the Calculated Risk." New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1980

Extent

75.8 Linear Feet (Four record center boxes, 115 manuscript boxes, ten half-size manuscript boxes, five photo print boxes (5.5x7.5x12.0), one slide box (11.0x16.0x3.0), one microfilm box (4.0x4.0x11.0), one non-standard box (10.5x11.5x3.0), one non-standard box (18.0x13.0x3.0), three non-standard boxes (20.5x16.5x3.5), three non-standard boxes (31.5x23.0x3.0), one textile box (33.0x19.0x6.0), one textile box (30.0x18.0x6.0), and one textile box (40.0x18.0x6.0).)

Abstract

James H. Doolittle is most famous for the planning and implementation of the Tokyo Raid in April 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. After World War II, he graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a PhD. He was instrumental in founding the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association. The James H. Doolittle Papers reflect his activities after the Second World War.

Series Description

The James H. Doolittle Papers are arranged in seventeen series:

Series I. James H. Doolittle Biographical Material 0.8 linear ft. (two manuscript boxes), 1921-1996.

Arranged topically.

Series II. James H. Doolittle Theses 0.4 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1922-1980.

Arranged chronologically.

Series III. James H. Doolittle Awards and Honors 2.0 linear ft. (five manuscript boxes), 1960-1984.

Arranged topically.

Series IV. James H. Doolittle Speeches 4.0 linear ft. (ten manuscript boxes), 1938-1981.

Arranged chronologically.

Series V. Tributes 0.4 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1960-1982.

Arranged alphabetically.

Series VI. Source Files 2.0 linear ft. (five manuscript boxes), 1952-1985.

Arranged into four subseries: 1. Aviation, 2. Locations, 3. The Cold War/Soviets, and 4. Various Topics.

Subseries 1. Aviation 0.4 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1952-1975.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 2. Locations 0.4 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1965-1975.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 3. The Cold War/Soviets 0.4 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1959-1985.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 4. Various Topics 0.8 linear ft. (two manuscript boxes), 1959-1973.

Arranged topically.

Series VII. James H. Doolittle News and Magazine Clippings 1.2 linear ft. (three manuscript boxes), 1938-1993.

Arranged chronologically.

Series VIII. Subject Files 8.4 linear ft. (twenty-one manuscript boxes), 1920-1989.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series IX. Correspondence 25.6 linear ft. (sixty-four manuscript boxes), 1938-1988.

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent’s last name.

Series X. United States Air Force (USAF) 2.0 linear ft. (five manuscript boxes), 1945-1988.

Arranged topically.

Series XI. Condolences 1.6 linear ft. (four manuscript boxes), 1989-1994.

Arranged into two subseries: 1. Condolence Letters on the Death of Josephine Doolittle and 2. Condolence Letters on the Death of James H. Doolittle.

Subseries 1. Condolence Letters on the Death of Josephine Doolittle 0.4 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1989.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 2. Condolence Letters on the Death of James H. Doolittle 1.2 linear ft. (three manuscript boxes), 1993-1994.

Arranged topically.

Series XII. History of Aviation Collection Doolittle Endowment 0.8 linear ft. (two manuscript boxes), 1994-1995.

Arranged chronologically.

Series XIII. Photographic Material 2.0 linear ft. (five manuscript boxes), 1903-1993.

Arranged topically.

Series XIV. Multimedia Material 1.4 linear ft. (two photo print boxes), 1980-1993.

Arranged topically.

Series XV. Artifacts and Memorabilia 4.4 linear ft. (eleven manuscript boxes), 1952-2005.

Arranged topically.

Series XVI. Doolittle Logbooks and Notebooks on Microfilm 0.4 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1918-1994.

Arranged chronologically.

Series XVII. Supplementary Material 0.8 linear ft. (two manuscript boxes and three photo print boxes), 1942-2001.

Arranged topically.

Provenance Statement

The James H. Doolittle Papers were donated to the History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, by John Doolittle, on 1984-06-25, with additions in 1995 and 1998.

Existence and Location of Originals

The original log books have been removed from this collection and housed in a secure location. Ask staff for more information.

Existence and Location of Copies

Logbooks 7-16 have been copied (PDF-File) and are available upon request.

Existence and Location of Copies

The 35mm Nitrat film was scanned by Reflex Technologies and the original destroyed. A digital file is available. Contact curator for assistance.

Additional Sources

For more information about the Doolittle Raid and Jimmy Doolittle, consult the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association Records.

Additional information can be found in the books Doolittle’s Tokyo Raiders, Four Came Home (both by C. V. Glines), as well as I Could Never Be So Lucky Again: The Autobiography of James H. Doolittle (by Jimmy Doolittle and C. V. Glines).

Books/Magazines

Books and magazines were pulled and catalogued to be included into the HAC monograph and magazine collection.

Image ID

It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission from copyright holders of materials to which this institution does not own copyright.

Images in this collection are identified by a unique number that provides information about the format, record group, collection, series, box, folder, and image numbers. Please use this number when ordering reproductions of images from this collection.

Record Group Code

1 = CAT/Air American Archives

2 = Doolittle Archives

3 = Lighter than Air Archives

4 = George H. Williams, Jr., World War I Aviation Library

5 = History of Aviation Archives

6 = University Archives

7 = HAC Stacks

8 = WPRL Stacks

9 = Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Collection

10 = Belsterling Collection

11 = Closed Stacks

12 = Unidentified

13 = Chance Vought Archives

14 = Twirly Birds Archives

Image Format Code

P = Photograph/Postcard

S = Slide

N = Negative

T = Positive Transparency

B = Black and White

C = Color

Example: 2JHD-1-1-PC1

2 = Doolittle Archives

JHD = James H. Doolittle Papers

= Series Number

1 = Box Number

1 = Folder Number

P = Photograph/Postcard

C = Color

1 = Image Number

Images archived in plastic image holders may also have a location code in the format: 1/TL. In this example, the number is the sheet number and the letters indicate the top left position on the sheet. Position indicators are T = top, L = left, R = right, M = middle, and B = bottom. Position indicators may be combined to describe the position on the sheet, as shown in this example.

Note to the Researcher

Some items that are part of this collection are on display with the Doolittle exhibits in the History of Aviation Archives.

At the time of the revison of this finding aid, the following items were missing:

1 Award from Flight Test Historical Foundation. 1983

1 Plaque: Presented to Doolittle on 25th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid – Oakland, CA. 1967

1 Kimberly Clark Paper Company Poster – B-25. Undated

1 Framed Display about Doolittle Raid. Undated

The 35mm nitrat film was scanned by Reflex Technologies and the original destroyed. A digital file is available as well as a preservation report.
Title
Guide to the James H. Doolittle Papers, 1896-1993
Status
Completed
Author
Thomas Allen, PhD
Date
2011-07-18
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English (eng)
Edition statement
First revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2018-06-28.

Revision Statements

  • 2018-07-09: 1st revision was a migration to ArchivesSpace by Patrizia Nava, CA.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Division, History of Aviation Archives. Repository

Contact:
3020 Waterview Pkwy
SP2
Suite 11.206
Richardson Texas 75080 US
972-883-2570
972-883-4590 (Fax)