POLK CITY, Fla. – On April 15 and 16, visitors to Fantasy of Flight will have the opportunity to hear from a direct descendant of one of history’s most famous aviators and war heroes, General Jimmy Doolittle of the renowned “Doolittle Raiders.” Doolittle’s granddaughter, Jonna Doolittle Hoppes, author of “Calculated Risk: The Extraordinary Life of Jimmy Doolittle,” a memoir about her extraordinary grandfather, and “Just Doing My Job,” a collection of 19 narratives from WWII, is the headline speaker for the event.
Throughout the weekend, Hoppes will share personal photographs and anecdotes of her “Gramps” wartime experiences as well as his life at home, with a focus on the perspective of her grandmother, Josephine, or “Joe” Doolittle.
General Jimmy Doolittle was an aviation pioneer and WWII hero who led the famous Doolittle Raid for which he earned the Medal of Honor from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Doolittle Raid took place April 18, 1942 and was the first air raid by the United States to strike the Japanese homeland.
More than simply a heroic pilot, Doolittle was a scientist and aeronautical engineer with a Masters Degree and Doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
In her book, Hoppes relays personal stories about her grandfather from the war, gathered by letters and testimonies of the soldiers who served with him and for him; letters he wrote to his wife, Joe, during the war; hours of interviews with her father, John P. Doolittle; magazine articles from the era, saved by her grandmother; as well as her own memories of “Gramps.” She recalls spending time at her grandparents’ home, studying a wall of autographed photos that lined their hallway-photos of people in aviation, members of the Doolittle Raiders, celebrities, industry and world leaders. “You had to ask him to find out the things that he did. I was always the kid who always wanted to know, ‘Who was this? What did they do?’ so I heard a lot of stories from him.”
Hoppes works for the Department of Defense at Los Angeles Air Force Base and travels throughout the United States and Europe representing the Doolittle family.
Call 863-984-3500 or go to www.fantasyofflight.com for more information.