I first arrived at Travis in 1955. My headquarters would take command of the base during that time. You can bet I will be there when they celebrate its 75th anniversary in one of the large hangers.
Also, our aviators were recognized with the Doolittle Award presented to them by Jonna Doolittle Hopper, Doolittle Executive Director, and granddaughter of Gen. James “Jimmy” Doolittle, who said, “I’m so proud to be a part of your program to recognize you all because of how great you really are.
“I think that my grandfather would really be proud to serve with you.”
In the weeks following the attack on Pearl Harbor, one group of men would attempt what was believed to be impossible, and forever shift the course of history. That was when 80 young men volunteered for the Doolittle Raid on Japan.
To increase morale and demonstrate resolve to Japan and the world, the Doolittle Raid paved the way for innovation as 16 B-25s were modified and launched from an aircraft carrier which led to a reinvigorated sense of confidence and duty among U.S. troops.
I’m so very proud to have served in the old Army Air Corps a few years later, and would be assigned to Travis Air Force Base in California for many years.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.)