>>Looking good so far, although I'm still more than half expecting to
>>see a certain Liberion officer named Dolittle to turn up in one of
>It is astonishing how many people have the impression that Jane
>Doolittle died in 1942.
In fact, what the heck, here.
Jane Harriet "Jenny" Doolittle
Lieutenant General, United States of Liberion Army Air Forces
Date of birth: December 14, 1926
Familiar: Bull terrier
Striker model: North Liberion P-51K Mustang
Weapon of choice: M1919 .30-caliber Browning machine gun (x2)
One of Liberion's great aviation pioneers, Jane Doolittle began her aerial career in the spring of 1936, when she was nine - a tender age even for a flying witch. By the end of that summer, she had hedgehopped her way around a complete circuit of the continental United States, the first aviator ever to accomplish the feat, using a First Neuroi War-vintage Curtiss JN-4 biplane Striker nicknamed "Jenny". So many reporters covering the flight assumed that the aircraft's name was her own that she eventually gave up trying to correct them, and has been Jenny Doolittle in the public's mind ever since.
After joining what was then called the Army Air Corps in 1937, Doolittle invented the technique of "perception flying" - using magical means to correct for the natural errors in situational awareness caused by impaired visibility - and greatly improved the safety margin of night and bad-weather flight for witches. (This ability is often confused by laypeople with magic radar, but the two disciplines are entirely separate. Magic radar is a specialist technique very few witches can employ, while all flying witches can be, and as a general rule are, taught at least the basics of perception flying.) By 1938, Captain Doolittle was one of the loudest voices calling for the Liberion forces to develop Miyafuji Engine-equipped Strikers, and in 1939 Major Doolittle became one of the first Army officers to make a public call for her country to enter the war against the Neuroi.
All this agitation nearly got her cashiered, and in fact it was three years before the USL finally got into the war - at which point Lt. Col. Doolittle astounded and annoyed the brass again by propounding an absurdly ambitious first operation for the Army Air Force to undertake: nothing less than the destruction of the Neuroi Hive at Ufa in west-central Orussia, which threatened the evacuation of that country's major population centers to planned fallback positions east of the Urals. This was insanely far from any Liberion base or supply point, and the Army brass deemed Doolittle's plan, which involved a submarine launch from the Black Sea and a one-way ferry flight to Suomus with a bombing raid on a major Neuroi Hive in between, a suicide mission.
There were those who wouldn't have minded seeing Jane Doolittle get herself killed on a damnfool idealistic crusade, though, and either way it would be good press to offset the grumbling about Liberion's late entry into the war; so the plan was approved, with the proviso that all its participants must be volunteers. Some assumed Doolittle would never be able to talk a dozen other witches into undertaking the mission. Some were wrong. The destruction of the Ufa Hive opened the way for the evacuation of some 80 percent of Orussia's population and cemented the reputation of the witch the papers were now calling "Jenny the Wrecker" all over the world.
Now the Liberion Army's youngest-ever lieutenant general, Doolittle is the highest-ranking witch in that country's armed forces and head of all Liberion aviation assets in the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe. In that capacity she is constantly butting heads with older, maler colleagues, who have their own (usually wrong, according to Doolittle) ideas of how "her girls" should best be employed. It's a hassle, but Jenny the Wrecker doesn't mind - it's just another hedge to be hopped.
As popular with the rank and file as she is unpopular with most other generals, Doolittle makes it a point to participate personally in at least one sortie a month, somewhere in the AEF's theater of operations. President Truman really, really wishes she wouldn't do that, but he can't stop her. No one can stop her. That, if you ask her, is kind of the point.
Jenny's archetype is General James "Jimmy" Doolittle, who people remember nowadays mostly for the 1942 Tokyo Raid, but who was, in fact, one of America's foremost aviators long before he did that - among other achievements, he pioneered instrument flying, won more or less every aviation trophy going in the '20s, and was the first person to perform an outside loop and not get killed doing it.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.