|Birth: ||Oct. 13, 1920|
|Death: ||May 30, 1945|
Doit was born October 13, 1920 in Casey, Illinois to Cora and Will Fish. He was the youngest of four sons with both an older sister and a younger sister. He attended public schools in Piatt County (Milmine and Bement) and graduated from Bement Township High School on May 30, 1939.
He enrolled at Illinois State Normal University, Normal, IL as a student for 2 1/2 years. While his regular class grades were not outstanding, his flight training earned him certification as an airman by the Civil Aeronautics Administration. With the war in progress and as a certified civilian aviator, Doit decided to leave his junior year and enlist as a US Navy Reserve Air Cadet.
He enlisted in the US Navy Reserve on June 23, 1942 at St. Louis, Missouri and was accepted as an Aviation Cadet. He attended Naval Aviation Pre-Flight School, Primary Flight Training, and Advanced Flight Training. On June 19, 1943 while stationed at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas,he accepted a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps Reserve. On August 28, 1943, in St. Louis, Doit married the former Dorothy J. Hawks, who at the time was a student nurse. After a short honeymoon, Doit reported to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, assigned to Marine Air Group 61, 3rd Marine Air Wing.
On October 1, 1943, the Marine Corps commissioned several Marine Bomber Squadrons at Cherry Point, including VMB 611. On November 16, he joined VMB 611 as a PBJ-1 (the Navy designation for the B-25 Mitchell) pilot, and continued his training at Cherry Point until the end of December. During this time, Dorothy was able to be near him, living in New Bern, NC. In January 1944, VMB 611 was assigned to MCAS Parris Island, South Carolina for more squadron and flight crew training. Additional training, including torpedo and depth charges, was conducted at NAS Boca Chica, Florida in February and July. On April 1,he accepted an appointment to the rank of 1st Lieutenant remaining with VMB 611 as a pilot.
In August 1944, VMB 611 was transferred to the MCAD, Miramar, San Diego, California for deployment to the South Pacific. Half the flight crews and their PBJ aircraft departed for Hawaii while the other half of the flight crews and entire ground support crew departed from Port Hueneme, CA on September 26. After arriving in San Diego and before his September deployment, he received an emergency leave to return to Decatur, IL to see his newborn son David, born on August 28, 1944.
VMB 611's first combat operations were the Solomon Islands Campaign, conducted from Emirau, an island near the Rabaul area. Doit's first six missions, including his first air strike on December 23, were conducted from Emirau. In late March 1945, VMB 611 departed Emirau to join MAG 32, and the 1st Marine Air Wing at Moret Field, Zamboanga, Mindanao, Philippine Islands. VMB 611 would be the only Marine Bomber Squadron to operate and support Army ground troops in the Philippine Islands.
Doit's next 19 missions, including his last, were conducted as part of the Philippine Islands Campaign and were concentrated on the island of Mindanao. On the fateful day of May 30, 1945, VMB 611 saw their greatest loss of the war. VMB 611's Commanding Officer led a multiple PBJ sweep of the Kibawe Trail. During the morning, he was shot down with the loss of him and three crewmembers. In the afternoon, after searching for the CO's lost aircraft, Doit and crew became Missing in Action.
Doit's aircraft wreckage and crew skeletal remains were found on November 16, 1956 in the area he was reported missing. Although individual identification was impossible, it was confirmed that the remains were of Doit and his crew. A group burial with full military honors was held at Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Colorado on July 15, 1957.
Fort Logan National Cemetery
Maintained by: David Fish
Originally Created by: Dolores Maxwell
Record added: Jul 03, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11284682