James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle
Bronze Bust,
Edition 2
Artist: John E. Lajba
Location: Special Collections
Doolittle Corner

The bust of the famous World War II aviator was presented to McDermott Library Feb. 20, 1985 for the Doolittle Collection in Special Collections where it is on display in the "Doolittle Corner" with the general’s desk, bookshelves, chair, awards and honors.

The library’s bust is Edition 2 and was commissioned by George Haddaway for the History of Aviation Collection. Bust Edition 1 is on display in the lobby of the Air Force Association in Arlington, Va. Doolittle was the first president of the association. That bust was featured on the cover of the January 1985 Air Force Magazine.

The design was taken from a photograph of Doolittle sitting on the turtle deck of his experimental Curtiss P–1C Hawk after an outstanding aerobatic demonstration at the 1929 National Air Races in Cleveland, Ohio. Doolittle was part of a U.S. Army team of flyers. The Curtiss Hawk shed its wings on a practice run for an outside loop and Doolittle parachuted to the ground. He secured a similar plane at the Army field office to continue the demonstration. The event included luminaries such as Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker and Amelia Earhart. The bust is much more elaborate that others of Doolittle and not only represents his distinguished military career but his stature as one of the greatest aviators of all time.

John E. Lajba (pronounced "Lie–bah" and also known as John Liba) is an American sculptor who lives in Omaha, Neb. where he owns the John E. Lajba Sculptor Corp. He is known for creating sculptures of historical and sports figures.

He produces the annual Harley J. Earl Trophy presented to the annual winner of the Daytona 500, the premier race of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. The Road to Omaha is a sculpture celebrating the NCAA College World Series located outside Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha. Individual bronzes have been fashioned of Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Bob Hope. Lajba also created a World War II memorial sculpture for the city of Omaha as part of the 50th Anniversary World War II Memorial. His sculptures are also found in Omaha's Durham Western Heritage Museum.

Lajba also created a sculpture of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. and his wife, Ann France, for display at NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla. Another Lajba sculpture in Daytona Beach stands on the campus of Bethune–Cookman College. It is a likeness of college founder Mary McLeod Bethune and was commissioned for the college’s 100th anniversary.

Full McDermott Library web site
(972)-883-2955    Find us on Facebook Link

UTD home page