Thursday, April 18, 2013

AFA Honors the Anniversary of the Doolittle Raiders Bombing Mission on Japan

The Air Force Association salutes the brave men of the Doolittle Raiders on the anniversary of their mission to bomb Japan. On this day in 1942, 16 B-25B Mitchell bombers, led by Lt. Col. James Doolittle, struck Tokyo, Kobe, Nagoya and Yokohama. "Doolittle's Raid", named after then- Lt. Col James H. Doolittle, inflicted little physical damage to Japan, but it gave a needed lift to morale in the U.S.

The bombers took off from the USS Hornet hours before their scheduled time due to being spotted by a Japanese trawler, even though they knew they may not have enough fuel to reach auxiliary fields in China after their bombing raid. In Japan, the psychological damage of the attack was more important, and caused the Japanese to extend its defensive perimeter.

In 2009 AFA saluted the Doolittle Raiders were honored with an AFA Lifetime Achievement Award at the Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition. This video tells the heroic tale of these heroic Airmen:

Retired Maj. Thomas Griffin and retired Lt. Col. Richard Cole received the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of the Doolittle Raiders. Major Griffin was a navigator on B-25 No. 9 during the April 1942 raid, and Colonel Cole was Gen. Jimmy Doolittle's co-pilot for the mission.

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