Celebrating Doolittle Day

Jimmy Doolittle, shown here as a two-year-old Alamedan in 1898. While Doolittle lived here just a short time as a youth, he would later return to Alameda to make history.

Mayor Marie Gilmore has proclaimed Sunday, Dec. 14, "Jimmy Doolittle Day." The choice of the date is no coincidence.

Jimmy was born on Dec. 14, 1896, in Alameda to Frank and Rosa Doolittle. The family lived in the unassuming Queen Anne-style cottage on the southeast corner of Buena Vista Avenue and Foley Street where Jimmy was born.

Gold fever struck Frank, and he left Rosa and their infant son for Alaska. In 1900 Rosa and Jimmy joined Frank in Nome. In 1912 builder George Noble moved the home up Foley Street, where it still stands at 1620.

Jimmy returned to Alameda as a lieutenant colonel in 1942 to lead a force of 16 Army Air Force bombers on this country’s first bombing raid on Japan.

They embarked from the Naval Air Station aboard the USS Hornet CV-8 on April 18. On June 9, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt awarded Jimmy the Medal of Honor.

Doolittle’s other honors include: two Army Distinguished Service medals, a Silver Star, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and four Air Medals.

Doolittle died Sept. 27, 1993, in Pebble Beach, Calif.