Thursday, April 25, 2019
World War II: The Doolittle Raid
On April 18th, we commemorated the 77th anniversary of what today is known as the Doolittle Raid. This was a major boost to American morale, as things were going very bad for us in the first several months after Pearl Harbor. It was a huge blow to the Japanese, who were sure they were safe from American bombs.
There was a huge risk associated with the Raid. One of the biggest obstacles was to take off from an aircraft carrier in bombers which were thought to be too big. There were 80 Doolittle Raiders who flew five-man crews in 16 B-25B Mitchell medium bombers who took off from the aircraft carrier Hornet.
The planes dropped their bombs on Japanese targets but did not do serious damage. But, for the U.S., it was payback for Pearl Harbor. Of the eighty men, 77 survived the mission, three were executed and one died of disease while a prisoner.
This past April 9, the last Doolittle survivor, Richard Cole, died at age 103.