Skip to comments.Doolittle Raiders: patriots and men of courage when America needed them
Posted on 04/21/2012 8:08:20 AM PDT by darkwing104
Seventy years ago this week sixteen Army Air Force B-25 Mitchells took off from the heaving deck of the Navys aircraft carrier USS Hornet. This was the first time in the Second World War that America took the fight to the enemy. The raiders who were led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, struck Japan in a demonstration ofAmericas determination to take the fight to Japans home soil. This raid was a morale booster for a nation that was still recovering from the attack onPearl Harbor.
The concept of launching medium bombers from a carrier was conceived by Navy Captain Francis Low. Once the idea was a go Lt. Col. Doolittle was selected to plan and lead the Army Air Force mission. The crews were recruited from B-25 crews from the 17th Bomb Group and were trained to take off from an Aircraft carrier at Eglin Field inFlorida. Being too large to land, the bombers only had to learn to take off from a carrier deck. The crews knew it was a one way mission and knew it was a dangerous secret mission but nothing more until they were a day out to sea.
(Excerpt) Read more at coachisright.com ...
Those were some TOUGH guys, putting their lives on the line and getting to China in hope of escape. This type of bravery will probably not be tested like this again.
"The biggest success of this mission was secrecy. Unlike more recent missions where the current Administration quickly ran to the press to release details of successful missions, even the President of the United States kept the secret until all of the aircrews were accounted for."
Capt Mitscher on the other hand... the Peter Principle defined. He should have never left the Bureau of Aeronautics.
Got to ride in a B-25 a few years ago, was great. Don’t imagine anyone of those guys were afraid one bit, they were off on a fantastic life adventure, you could just get that feeling taking off in a 25!
From the article:
“Of the eighty original members of Doolittles team who flew into history that day in April 1942 only five remain today...”
And of the eighty here’s what happened to eight of them who were captured by the Japanese - On August 13, 1942 Japan passed an ex-post facto law called the Enemy Airman’s Act that declared airmen whose bombs fell on civilians would be sentenced to death. The eight prisoners were sentenced to death.
On October 15, 1942 Dean Hallmark of Robert Lee, Texas, Bill Farrow of Darlington, South Carolina, and Harold Spatz of Lebo, Kansas were executed by firing squad.
Emperor Hirohito in his royal benevolence commuted the sentences of the other five to life imprisonment, with the proviso they would not be treated as prisoners of war, but as war criminals that could not be repatriated should there ever be an exchange of prisoners of war.
To this day, the way the Japs treated POWs is a good reason I generally have no use for the Japanese.
He as in Dayton last week, and got a ride in a "25" and got to see the 5 remaining "Raiders", Wow is all I can say...
Was no different than the Japs had ever treated prisoners throughout their history. It might seem savage, and cruel to us, it was part of the culture. This maltreatment was the incentive to not be taken prisoner and to fight to the death instead.
“To this day, the way the Japs treated POWs is a good reason I generally have no use for the Japanese.”
Filipinos under the heel of the racist, inexcusably savage Japanese for years, when they heard that the US had nuked the Nips asked:
“Why only two?”
My Uncle fought on Iwo Jima in ‘45. to this day he despises the Japanese. He won’t say why and to my knowledge he has never spoken of his time on Iwo. He is in his 80’s now and not in good health. I’ve read a lot about the Japanese treatment of prisoners and such and I can only imagine what he saw. I’d love for him to fill me in with a firsthand story but I doubt he wants to bring any of the pain back.
He and his wife visited Peal Harbor on their 50th wedding anniversary and he vowed never to go back because there were too many Japs in Hawaii. Said they couldn’t take it by force so they decided to buy it.
“the way the Japs treated POWs...”
...Is why they TOTALLY deserved the firebombings, and having their ASSES NUKED TWICE.
And, they are loyal allies now. I appreciated my time in Yokosuka, Japan. The Japanese were wonderful hosts.
Col. Doolittle ( at that time) trained at the newly Air Base there as the planned the raid and trained pilots.
Their are many places where these great men ate, drank and practiced bombing. The golf course now was the bombing course in a area in Florida that is flat its a neat course to play when you think your playing a mountain course its has some many elevation changes because of the bombing.
In todays edition of World War II + 70 Years military analyst Hanson W. Baldwin speculates on the origin of the Tokyo raiders.
Hi Scobby 321;
Yes, I know the area very well. I was stationed at NAS Pensacola and NAS Jacksonville years back....
I loved to go to Eglin and Hurlburt. Had AF friends there...
Those men were heroes, of course, they would never claim that title. But they were. Much like our servicemen and women in Iraq and that Godforsaken Afghanistan. May he watch over and protect them.
Jacob DeShazer was one of the 5 POWs that was originally sentenced to death. He returned to Japan as a missionary after WWII. DeShazer and Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the Pearl Harbor air attack, became close friends. In 1950, Fuchida converted to Chistianity and became a missionary himself.
Chistianity = Christianity
My feelings about Japan are very complicated.
It is a fact that most Japanese today consider Japan a **VICTIM** of WW2.
I love Japan, but I reaaaaally reject that thinking.
I've had issues with you in the past but on this matter I couldn't agree more. Kudos to you for the courage to say it exactly the way I feel about it, for telling it like it is.
The poisonous snakes that sometimes come into my yard, have a cruel and savage culture. I don’t let them escape alive, just as many more of the Japanese should not have escaped their justice.
Revenge is the wrong answer for agression
Total destruction of an aggressor is the proper response , which is what the Japanese got. Their destruction was based on the question of likely aggressiveness in the future
See gulf war 1 as opposed to gulf war 2. Powell was weak. Should have gone to Baghdad the first time. Same with the Japs. Finished them off completely the first time. In total victory they have become a good ally
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