One of the best remembered military figures of World War II will be spotlighted when the Flight Path Speaker Series continues on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. Don Penny, longtime aide to Gen. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, will share his personal recollections of the pilot who led the daring 1942 U. S. air raid over Tokyo on orders of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Doolittle and his raiders later were immortalized in the Hollywood feature film, “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,” starring Spencer Tracy as Doolittle. Later, in retirement, the general came to have a close association with Los Angeles International Airport through his friendship with Clifton A. Moore, the airport’s longtime general manager. Doolittle headlined a number of special events at LAX, including an appearance as featured speaker for the dedication ceremonies at Terminal One in 1982. Later a USO lounge at the airport was named in Doolittle’s honor.
Don Penny served as an assistant to Doolittle during the postwar years. He later performed a similar role for President Gerald R. Ford. Penny will share an extensive collection of mementos during his Flight Path presentation.
The final program in this year’s Speaker Series will be “Aircraft in Focus,” an exhibition featuring the work of aviation photographer Jean-christophe Dick of HNTB Corp. The show opens with a presentation by the photographer on November 5 and continues for two weeks in Flight Path’s main gallery.
All Flight Path Speaker Series programs begin at 10 a.m. Admission and parking are free.