General James "Jimmy" Doolittle

Hometown boy turned World War II hero, Jimmy Doolittle made Nome proud with his aviation accomplishments, including leading the 1942 raid on Tokyo after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. In a 1989 speech, President Reagan said, “We’ve got to teach history based not on what's in fashion, but what's important: Why the pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant." Doolittle had spent his formative years in Nome, from 1900 to 1908, while his father tried his hand at gold mining while making a living with carpentry. Jimmy’s independence, courage and competitive nature (setting multiple trans-continental aviation records) have been attributed partially to being raised in the rough and tumble environment of gold-rush era Nome, where his diminutive size drew taunting from other boys. “After several antagonists went home with bloody noses, I earned a certain measure of respect,” wrote Doolittle in his autobiography. “My friends enjoyed seeing me plow into my opponents with my brand of intensity; and I must admit I enjoyed winning those early bouts.” Jimmy’s boyhood home at 301 Third Avenue, built by his father, stood for many years but is no longer there.

Getting There

Coordinates
Latitude: 64.499473
Longitude: -165.408304