In honor of the last Doolittle Raider’s passing…

This one is only 9 minutes of official film.

This one is one of the newsreels that was shown in theaters.

And this is a write up of the raid, HERE from Eyewitness to History.

An amazing piece of history, considered by many military historians as the ‘start’ of Japan’s fall, since the Japanese did not believe anyone could ever bomb Japan. This sent the Japanese military into a scheme to retaliate and sink all carriers, which culminated in the Battle of Midway, where they lost four carriers to our one.


TBT… — 9 Comments

  1. Hey Old NFO;

    I watched those video’s before in my blogging about the battle of Midway. Yes the effects on the Japanese was traumatic for them, Japan has never been attacked by a hostile foreign power in over a 1000 years. The attack broke the stalemate in the Japanese General Staff and they approved the operation. The rest is history as they say…

  2. I read several accounts of the raid, and memoirs by several raiders. The official film with the launch footage brought the amount of risk a lot clearer. That’s a substantial sea state, when a cruiser goes bows under for a few seconds. They were launching aircraft from the Hornet on the anticipated rise of the bows. Timing got shakier as they worked to the aft end of the flight deck. Any aircraft with engine problems, lost lift, or unlucky timing would go right into the ocean at the bow. The crews might have gotten out, and might get rescued. That’s courage.

    I’ll take a serving out of the good bottle tonight, to toast their memory. Clear skies and happy landings, gentlemen, and enjoy your reunion.

  3. Another way that it affected the war was that lots of resources, particularly aircraft and anti-aircraft equipment (lights, sounders, guns, etc) were pulled back to the Home Islands from outlying areas – so they weren’t in those islands to slow down or stop the US island hopping campaign.

  4. Bob- Agreed!

    PK- I did that last night.

    Jon- Excellent point! And it WAS a major change in the Japanese conduct of the war.

  5. The courage and daring of all involved was remarkable. What I’ve always wondered was what it was like for the crew on the Hornet. Heavy seas, and squeezing every available knot of speed, the strain must have stretched things to the limit.

    Another factor was being in a large, slow, and vulnerable target very close to the enemy home islands for several days. That had to be a strain.

    Just another days work for the Navy?

  6. True men of bravery. I have always read with awe their exploits that few days. Especially the crew who were held in Russia until the end of the war. Also, this was before ROE’s got our men killed. Bombing on the western and eastern theater’s, day and night, military, industrial and civilian broke the moral of the people and the military and ended the war in four years. Unlike today with all the PC BS. God bless the all.

  7. WSF- It was, but they had the Enterprise alongside for defense.

    CP- Amen.

    Ed- I can believe it!

  8. Doolittle’s Autobiography: “I Could Never Be So Lucky Again”

    GOOD book!