Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Anniversary of Doolittle Raid

In April 1942, four months after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor that launched the United States into World War II, 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers took off from the USS Hornet headed for Japan. In a mission designed and executed by then-Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, the Doolittle raiders volunteered to bomb Tokyo.

We had recently lost the Battle of Wake Island and faced great hardships in the Philippines, with Japan able to boast its territorial gains. But on April 18, 1942, things changed. This day we launched long-range strike to the heart of Japan in the world’s most horrific war, boosting morale to the troops of World War II and the American public back home still grieving over the tragic loss of life at Pearl Harbor.

Today, may we take time to remember the daring young men who showed great courage and sacrifice (not all of them survived the raid) in one of the most daring operations of its time to be undertaken by the United States in the Pacific War. It’s equally important to remember U.S. allies in China who enabled the Raiders’ escape upon landing, and in turn many were persecuted.
USS Hornet (CV-8) launches Army Air Force B-25B bombers,
at the start of the first U.S. air raid on the Japanese home islands.
(Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection.)

USAAF B-25B bomber lines up for takeoff from USS Hornet (CV-8).(Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection.)
During AFA's 2009 Air & Space Conference, several members of the Doolittle Raiders were among the selected groups for the AFA Lifetime Achievement Award. These awards are handed out annually, and recognizes not a single achievement, but a lifetime of work in the advancement of aerospace. Below is a video AFA created in honor of the Doolittle Raiders: 


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"DOOLITTLE RAIDERS" - God bless 'em all! GENERAL "Hap" Arnold also deserves a salute for the 'guts' to order a brilliantly executed tactical air mission! ** Also salutes to GENERAL Curtis E. LeMay for ordering "a third A-bomb" brought out of Utah storage depot, but stopped at a West Coast [undisclosed] embarkation base - When Japanese did not surrender after Hiroshima & Nagasaki A- bombs, forcing a "maximum effort" using 'Pumpkin [H-E] bombs' on 14 August 1945. [Reference: "Manhattan Project" book for a New York non-profit research organization]! FWD by DAVE PHILLIPS in Reno, NV. -30-

Anonymous said...

The Reference Desk archivists at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum have some interesting material in a STUDS TERKEL interview with the late Col. PAUL TIBBETS, just a few months before his passing. It's worth a reprint in "Air Force Magazine" IF IT HASN'T ALREADY BEEN RE-PUBLISHED, IMHO! FWD by DAVE PHILLIPS in Reno, NV. -30-

Anonymous said...

SINCE WHEN HAS THE AFA "anonymous reviewer" begun imposing "political correctness" on member commentary? ** The "comment deleted" says this: STUDS TERKEL interview Col. PAUL TIBBETS a few months before passing. ** SUGGESTION: "AF Mag" might publish the interview, made possible by a keen archivist at the Refersnce Desk / Smithsonian AIr and SPace Museum. ** What is 'scandalous' about that innocuous comment, eh? ** By 'deleted' AFA now follows in foot-steps of 'prior censorship' policy in which "The New York Times" is now engaged: Deleting of any posted blog entries in dis- agreement with its editorial positions! Or have "AF Mag" senior staff been in "the DC Beltway" vicinity too long? ERGO: Out-of-touch with the mere minions in the hinterlands, eh? ;-) -30-