Donald Fitzmaurice was born on March 13, 1919, in Lincoln, Nebraska. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on August 13, 1940, and was trained as an Aircraft Mechanic at Chanute Field, Illinois, graduating in March 1941. His first assignment was to the 95th Bomb Squadron of the 17 Bomb Group at McChord Field, Washington, where he served as a B-25 Mitchell mechanic and flight engineer until he was selected for the Doolittle Mission in February 1942. Sgt Fitzmaurice was the engineer-gunner on the sixth B-25 to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on April 18, 1942, and after bombing Tokyo his crew flew to China and ditched the plane off the coast. Fitzmaurice drowned with another crew member in the aircraft when it ditched. He was originally interred in Shatow, China, but his remains were later returned to the United States and he was buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California.
His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary achievement while participating in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland on April 18, 1942. Sergeant Fitzmaurice volunteered for this mission knowing full well that the chances of survival were extremely remote, and executed his part in it with great skill and daring. This achievement reflects high credit on Sergeant Fitzmaurice and the military service.