April 18, 1942

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by KenH, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    THE DOOLITTLE TOKYO RAIDERS

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    At dawn on April 18, 1942, a U.S. Navy task force was heading through rough Pacific seas toward Japan. One of the ships in the flotilla was the aircraft carrier Hornet with 16 AAF B-25s on deck. Plans called for the B-25s to take off from the carrier when within 450 to 650 miles of Japan, bomb selected targets at such locations as Yokohama and Tokyo, and then fly another 1,200 miles to friendly airfields on mainland China.

    Unfortunately, an enemy patrol boat was sighted and, although it was sunk by U.S. gunfire, it was decided to launch the planes at once in case the patrol boat had been able to radio a warning to Japan. The 16 B-25s were launched while the task force was 800 miles from Japan rather than the desired 450 to 650 miles. They all reached the Japanese islands, dropped their bombs on oil stores, factory areas, and military installations, and then headed out across the East China Sea. However, night was approaching, the planes began running low on fuel, and the weather was rapidly becoming worse. The crews realized they could not reach the Chinese airfields and had the choice of either bailing out, ditching at sea, or crash-landing, although one plane was able to divert to Vladivostok where its crew was interned by the Russians.

    When the news of the raid was released, American morale zoomed from the depths to which it had plunged following Japan's successes. It also caused the Japanese to transfer back to the home islands fighter units which could have been used against the Allies. In comparison to the B-29 attacks against Japan two years later, the Tokyo Raid was a token effort. However, it was an example of brilliant tactics.

    - www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/history/wwii/dtr.htm
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Doesn't the recent movie "Pearl Harbor" actually end with a graphic account of this raid?

    Made my patriotism stir when I read "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" as a kid just as the Korean War had ended in a stalemate. It gave me something positive to consider in the negative times of Generals (like MacArthur) being sacked and no-win, peace-at-any-price politicians taking over our wars.
     
  3. KenH

    KenH
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    I don't know. The movie "Midway" begins with it. I recently watched "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo".
     
  4. Matt Black

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    THe Doolittle raid IS in 'Pearl Harbor'; in fact it absorbs the last third of the film

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     

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