Heroes: Jimmy Did It

The world found out last week who led the daring, destructive noonday air raid on Japan last month. To the White House, to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor, went pugnacious Brigadier General James Harold Doolittle, 45, speed flyer, engineer, scholar and man of action.

Standing at attention while Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall intoned the formal citation, lean-faced, balding Jimmy Doolittle bent forward while President Roosevelt pinned the gold, blue-ribboned medal above his left shirt pocket. Not even a columnist, chortled the President, had known the identity of the raid's leader.

Said the New York Daily News: "He should...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!