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I Could Never Be So Lucky Again


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About the Author

James Doolittle (1896-1993) was a stunt pilot who thrilled the world with his aerial acrobatics, a scientist who pioneered the development of modern aviation technology, and a fearless and innovative air warrior who served his country during World War II.

Retired Air Force Colonel Carroll V. Glines is the author of 36 books and more than 700 magazine articles on aviation and military subjects. Three of his books are about the 1942 Doolittle Raid on Japan. He was also the co-author of General Jimmy Doolittle's autobiography entitled I Could Never Be So Lucky Again. He was formerly the editor of Air Cargo, Air Line Pilot, and Professional Pilot magazines, and is now the curator of the Doolittle Library at the University of Texas, Dallas, and historian for the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.


Octogenarian Doolittle, with coauthor Glines ( The Doolittle Raid , LJ 10/15/88) uncovers no scandals and reveals no skeletons in telling the story of his life. What emerges is a portrait of a thoroughly decent human being whose relative unconcern for his military reputation is especially refreshing in this genre. Doolittle's proudest memories come not from his years in high command but from the cockpit. A brilliant pilot and a trained aeronautical engineer, he contributed significantly to the development of American aviation prior to 1941. Doolittle clearly regards the high point of his wartime service as preparing and leading the 1942 raid against Tokyo. Otherwise he presents himself as a man who had the good fortune consistently to be in the right places at the right times. Doolittle's account underplays his own energy and ambition, qualities without which no one reaches senior rank in the armed forces. Nevertheless, his modesty, his pride of craft, and his sense of duty are admirable.-- Dennis E. Showalter, Colorado Coll., Colorado Springs

Best remembered as leader of the 1942 raid over Tokyo, Doolittle later commanded the U.S. 8th Air Force in England. After the war he was active in the reorganization of our defense establishment and became director of several companies in the private sector. Doolittle, with retired Army Air Force colonel Glines, here recounts his knockabout Alaskan youth, his experiences as a miner in California, his brief but successful career as a prizefighter, and his adventures as a aerial-show ``aerobat'' and later as a test pilot. Air history buffs will appreciate the detailed comments on the technological advances stimulated by competition for the Bendix and other air-race trophies during the '20s and '30s, races in which Doolittle was a prominent participant. The book recalls vividly Doolittle's days as an aviation pioneer--and retells the exciting story of the Tokyo raid. The rest, mostly dealing with the general's top-level leadership during the remainder of the war, his successes in the business world after retiring from the Air Force and the reception of innumerable honors and awards, is less interesting. Photos. (Sept.)

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