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The Doolittle Tokyo Raid 70 Years Ago Today

by huckfunn ( 67 Comments › )
Filed under History, Military, Patriotism, World War II at April 18th, 2012 - 8:00 am

Seventy years ago today, 16 U.S. Army B29 Mitchell bombers under the command of Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle took off from the deck of the USS Hornet on a mission to bomb Tokyo. This would be the first American strike against the Japanese just 4 months after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.  It was essentially a suicide mission as the bombers didn’t have the fuel capacity to complete a round trip back to the carrier. The plan was to complete the bombing run, make it into China and bailout out over territory not yet held by the Japanese.

The raid went generally as planned and all 16 planes were able to drop their bomb loads over Tokyo in broad daylight. Of the 80 crew members, all but 6 survived. One was  killed on bailout; 2 drowned when their plane ditched off the coast of China; 8 were captured by the Japanese and 3 of those were executed by the Japanese.

There was no strategic or tactical goal to Doolittle’s Raid. However, it was a great moral booster for Americans civillians and troops. The raid had a devastating effect on the Japanese. The horrors of war that they had inflicted upon others had now come home to them and was a foreshadowing of the greater horrors yet to be visited up on the nation of Japan and the Japanese people.

There are but five remaining survivors of the Doolittle Raiders. Here is a New York Times tribute to those survivors and all of the Doolittle Raiders which includes a brief video presentation by each of the 5 survivors.

Here is the official website of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.

 

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67 Responses to “The Doolittle Tokyo Raid 70 Years Ago Today”
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  1. MikeA
    1 | April 18, 2012 8:13 am

    It is good that we remember these brave men. It took a real pair of brass ones to take a B-25 off from a carrier, fly to Tokyo and bomb it. Brave men, we salute you!!!!


  2. mawskrat
    2 | April 18, 2012 8:23 am

    @ MikeA:

    AMEN!!


  3. emile41
    3 | April 18, 2012 8:32 am

    Courage is defined among these men. The odds were well known and heavily against them, yet off they went, to strike a blow for America.
    The effect on the Japanese was tremendous, the fact that enemy bombers struck their homeland when they thought they were immune to American attack was humiliating. Militarily, the raid didn’t accomplish much, but the psychological impact was both devastating and uplifting depending whose side you were on.
    This is why we are free, because when the call is made there are always Americans that will answer the call, even today.


  4. huckfunn
    4 | April 18, 2012 8:33 am

    The most regrettable result of the raid was the fact that over 200,000 Chinese were massacred by the Japanese in revenge for the Chinese helping the Americans after they had bailed out.

    Also, be sure and open that 2nd to the bottom tribute link. Really a great tribute by the Washington Times.


  5. huckfunn
    5 | April 18, 2012 8:38 am

    emile41 wrote:

    The effect on the Japanese was tremendous, the fact that enemy bombers struck their homeland when they thought they were immune to American attack was humiliating.

    That humiliation thing has always been a tough pill for the Japanese to swallow. Death was preferable to humiliation.


  6. m
    6 | April 18, 2012 9:05 am

    Great reminder Huckfunn! Thank you!


  7. 7 | April 18, 2012 9:14 am

    huckfunn wrote:

    That humiliation thing has always been a tough pill for the Japanese to swallow. Death was preferable to humiliation.

    Well, it isn’t just the Japanese, it’s most Asians. In fact, I’m not sure I have ever met a single human being that really liked swallowing the humiliation pill, most just don’t kill themselves over it.


  8. huckfunn
    8 | April 18, 2012 9:21 am

    m wrote:

    Great reminder Huckfunn! Thank you!

    My pleasure. It’s a heck of a story.


  9. huckfunn
    9 | April 18, 2012 9:28 am

    @ doriangrey:
    That’s about right. The Japanese “death before dishonor” thing is way over the top. They got nuked for it.


  10. 10 | April 18, 2012 9:31 am

    huckfunn wrote:

    @ doriangrey:
    That’s about right. The Japanese “death before dishonor” thing is way over the top. They got nuked for it.

    Well, it was way over the top, not so much any more, they kind of had it beaten out of them. If ya know what I mean.


  11. 11 | April 18, 2012 9:36 am

    @ doriangrey:

    When they feel that way, it just means you need to kill a lot of them to beat them. The same is true of our current enemy.


  12. mawskrat
    12 | April 18, 2012 9:43 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    the enemy

    CIVIL WAR HAS BEGUN: AMERICA IS FATALLY DECEIVED

    HT…Babba


  13. 13 | April 18, 2012 9:46 am

    @ mawskrat:

    Effing Looney Tunes…


  14. huckfunn
    14 | April 18, 2012 9:47 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ doriangrey:

    When they feel that way, it just means you need to kill a lot of them to beat them. The same is true of our current enemy.

    The old “disproportionate” thing. Funny how the left doesn’t understand that and therefore doesn’t like it.


  15. 15 | April 18, 2012 9:50 am

    @ huckfunn:

    I think they do understand it. They aren’t really “anti-war”. Thye are on the other side. YOu don’t see protests when the Mohammaedans do things like poison those school girls. Neither the Muslim World not the so-called “feminist” Left seem to care about that.


  16. 16 | April 18, 2012 9:51 am

    huckfunn wrote:

    Iron Fist wrote:
    @ doriangrey:
    When they feel that way, it just means you need to kill a lot of them to beat them. The same is true of our current enemy.

    The old “disproportionate” thing. Funny how the left doesn’t understand that and therefore doesn’t like it.

    Oh they understand it all right, and their are scared to death that once they are recognized as the Enemy of the United states Constitution it will be used against them. Exact same reason they oppose the death penalty.


  17. huckfunn
    17 | April 18, 2012 9:53 am

    @ Iron Fist:
    @ doriangrey:
    You guys reading from the same play book? :grin: I agree.


  18. 18 | April 18, 2012 9:58 am

    huckfunn wrote:

    @ Iron Fist:
    @ doriangrey:
    You guys reading from the same play book? I agree.

    The lefts whole anti-death penalty opposition to disproportionate force evolved right after Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed for treason, that was when the left realized that any one of them could be executed for their treasonous actions, so they had to do whatever it took to stop the death penalty. The Tet offensive taught them that disproportionate force by a smaller better trained and armed force was all it took to end their dreams of a Marxist Utopia.


  19. RIX
    20 | April 18, 2012 10:06 am

    Good morning. Day 1,184 America held hostage!


  20. mawskrat
    21 | April 18, 2012 10:08 am

    @ m:

    I have come to the conclusion that no political
    party has my best interest in mind.

    voting for the least of the worst stinks////


  21. 22 | April 18, 2012 10:13 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ doriangrey:

    When they feel that way, it just means you need to kill a lot of them to beat them. The same is true of our current enemy.

    These days, many consider a war “successful” if there’s a minimal loss of life and God forbid you should actually use the word “win”.

    My parents both served in WWII and I was raised with phrases like “a good Jap is a dead Jap”. These days that’s called “racism” (isn’t everything?), but the last time I checked, WWII was the last war we actually won outright. We did so by bombing Berlin to rubble and showing the Japanese the white light, twice. We killed LOTS of germans and japanese.

    Mine was one of the first WWII generations and, despite hearing a constant stream of vitriol against “Japs” and “Krauts”, my first car was a Volkswagen and I’ve had a steady stream of Japanese cars since the early 80s.

    My point is that we need to get on with defeating our enemies, killing them en masse as necessary, and move on. Within a generation or so, our enemies will have either gotten with the program, as did the Japanese and the Germans, or they’ll be just another historical religious oddity like the Aztecs and the Inca.


  22. huckfunn
    23 | April 18, 2012 10:13 am

    mawskrat wrote:

    voting for the least of the worst stinks////

    The lesser of 2 weevils?


  23. 24 | April 18, 2012 10:14 am

    RIX wrote:

    Good morning. Day 1,184 America held hostage!

    Top o’ da mornin’, RIX!


  24. RIX
    25 | April 18, 2012 10:17 am

    MacDuff wrote:

    RIX wrote:
    Good morning. Day 1,184 America held hostage!
    Top o’ da mornin’, RIX!

    Right back at ya. Wazzzzzzzzup, my Celtic brotha?


  25. EBL
    26 | April 18, 2012 10:18 am

    Thank you for the men who served on that mission!

    Thank you for all who have served our country.

    And thank you to the Blogmocracy for remembering this event.


  26. spinmore
    27 | April 18, 2012 10:19 am

    @ doriangrey:
    Marxist Utopia . . .

    Daddy (that would be me) had a Libtarded Marxist prof at Temple.
    Daddy (don’t ya love the third person thing ala Bob Dole?) was an adult student cause he had dropped out of H.S. and didn’t get his GED til he was in his 30s. Anyway -- in the midst of one of the prof’s indoctrination sessions extoling the virtues of Marxism, i raised my hand and asked a barrage of questions in continuous series. Something like: So, who gets to crawl through the sewers and shovel crap, and who gets to decide who does it? And, if there’s housing for everyone -- who gets to live on the hill in the nice house with a view, and who gets ti live in the slum, and who decides? And, what if you’re not on-board with the whole ‘program’? What then? . . . Needeless to say, Prof. Libtard looked like he’d just seen a ghost, there was an awkward moment of silence -- kids had turned and were looking at me. Then there were murmers throughout the class and a few smiles :D
    All i can hope is that some young kid was inoculated against the desease.


  27. huckfunn
    28 | April 18, 2012 10:20 am

    MacDuff wrote:

    My point is that we need to get on with defeating our enemies, killing them en masse as necessary, and move on. Within a generation or so, our enemies will have either gotten with the program, as did the Japanese and the Germans, or they’ll be just another historical religious oddity like the Aztecs and the Inca.

    Yessir. Iran is the prime example. We should have annihilated them decades ago after repeated provocations. A generation has gone by since the embassy hostage incident and now we’re wondering when they’ll have the capability to send us a nuke-tipped missile.


  28. RIX
    29 | April 18, 2012 10:22 am

    The Los Angeles Times had photos of our troops
    in Afghanistan poseing with dead suicide bombers
    this morning.
    They admit that it might ginn up violence against
    our troops, but “We owe the truth to our readers.”
    This is the same paper that was so craven that it would
    not publish the Mohammad cartoons with that story.


  29. 30 | April 18, 2012 10:23 am

    MacDuff wrote:

    My point is that we need to get on with defeating our enemies, killing them en masse as necessary, and move on. Within a generation or so, our enemies will have either gotten with the program, as did the Japanese and the Germans, or they’ll be just another historical religious oddity like the Aztecs and the Inca.

    Absolutely. And the first step in doing that is to recognize and name the enemy. Beating around the bush and talking about a “few extremists who have hijacked a Great Religion” is bullshit. Our enemies rightly see that as weakness. We didn’t just attack the SS and Hirohito’s Imperial Guard in World War Two. We fought total war against the entire enemy. That is how we should be fighting this war.


  30. m
    31 | April 18, 2012 10:26 am

    It’s hard out there for a dumb fuck…

    Taliban commander turns self in… for reward on ‘Wanted’ poster


  31. RIX
    32 | April 18, 2012 10:28 am

    @ huckfunn:
    If we intend to send our young people to war, then
    go all out.
    Don’t make them social workers & have them building
    roads & schools.
    They should not have rules of engagement that get them
    killed.
    Up until & through WWII the Amereican Militry believed
    in superior fired power, break a lot of shit, kill the
    enemy and come home.


  32. 33 | April 18, 2012 10:29 am

    @ m:

    They should give him life in prison and the reward in cigarettes. Maybe even a solo bunk, though him being Mohammedan and all he might like a cell-mate named “Bubba”… 8O


  33. RIX
    34 | April 18, 2012 10:32 am

    m wrote:

    It’s hard out there for a dumb fuck…
    Taliban commander turns self in… for reward on ‘Wanted’ poster

    To paraphrase Dean Wormer, ” Muslim & stupid is no
    way to go through life Mohammad.”


  34. huckfunn
    35 | April 18, 2012 10:33 am

    @ RIX:
    A 50 year U.S. foreign policy of kumbaya has made this a far more dangerous world.


  35. 36 | April 18, 2012 10:35 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    …who sings the Muslim National Anthem™ in English! With a Southern accent, no less!


  36. BuddyG
    37 | April 18, 2012 10:35 am

    And sixty-seven years ago today, April-18-2012, Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by Japanese machine-gun fire on the island of Ie Shima off the coase of Okinawa.


  37. huckfunn
    38 | April 18, 2012 10:36 am

    m wrote:

    It’s hard out there for a dumb fuck…

    Taliban commander turns self in… for reward on ‘Wanted’ poster

    Mohammad Ashan and Jose Canseco need to have a long discussion on global warming and icebergs.


  38. 39 | April 18, 2012 10:39 am

    RIX wrote:

    The Los Angeles Times had photos of our troops
    in Afghanistan poseing with dead suicide bombers
    this morning.
    They admit that it might ginn up violence against
    our troops, but “We owe the truth to our readers.”
    This is the same paper that was so craven that it would
    not publish the Mohammad cartoons with that story.

    Before she married, my mother served in the Navy during WWII and her boyfriends (and she seemed to have had quite a few) either sent or gave her pictures of dead Japanese soldiers, some pretty graphic (I still have them) -- it must have been the way you impressed the chicks back then. My point is that I don’t think this is unusual at all during wartime. The military is a society unto its own and why may appear bizarre to us is pretty normal in the military.


  39. m
    40 | April 18, 2012 10:41 am

    @ RIX:

    They make such a big deal out of things like Abu Ghraib and burning korans -- and get all breathless screaming how we’re making the muslim world hate us… meanwhile they run it on a loop 24/7 until they get that result.

    (and I’ve yet to see one story about muslim idiocy that is “making the western world hate them” … and there are lots of those)


  40. 41 | April 18, 2012 10:42 am

    We need to be a country that engenders trust and loyalty from our friends and abject white-knuckle terror in our enemies. Alas, we do neither.


  41. huckfunn
    42 | April 18, 2012 10:45 am

    @ MacDuff:
    For as long as there has been war, warriors have been taking heads, scalps, and fingers as war trophies. It doesn’t sound very nice but the practice has been around for a lot longer than the LAFT.


  42. EBL
    43 | April 18, 2012 10:45 am

    Thank you who served in that mission. Thank you to all who served this country in WWII and since. And thank you to the Blogmocracy for remembering this event.

    This should be linked and remembered by all. Thank you!


  43. RIX
    44 | April 18, 2012 10:46 am

    huckfunn wrote:

    @ RIX:
    A 50 year U.S. foreign policy of kumbaya has made this a far more dangerous world.

    Ann kids come home in body bags, with limbs missing &
    brain damage.
    Enough of the bullshit, either fight it & win it
    quickly or bring our troops home.
    Thay are the best of us & are being abused.
    Rant off.


  44. RIX
    45 | April 18, 2012 10:50 am

    MacDuff wrote:

    We need to be a country that engenders trust and loyalty from our friends and abject white-knuckle terror in our enemies. Alas, we do neither.

    The way that this works is that your coreligionists
    knock down a couple of buildings killing 3,000 people.
    Then your pressure group demands respect, funding and
    special privileges & gets them.


  45. 46 | April 18, 2012 10:55 am

    @ m:

    They’ve said nothing about the Afghan girls poisoned because they dared to go to school. There is a real War on Women going on in Afghanistan, but the MFM and the Left want to cut and run in Afghanistan so we generally hear crickets about Taliban atrocities.


  46. huckfunn
    47 | April 18, 2012 10:57 am

    EBL wrote:

    Thank you who served in that mission. Thank you to all who served this country in WWII and since. And thank you to the Blogmocracy for remembering this event.

    This should be linked and remembered by all. Thank you!

    And thanks for your comment. That photo in your link appears to be taken at about the same time as the picture above but from a different angle. In the picture above you can see Doolittle and Mitscher on the left. Cool.


  47. BuddyG
    48 | April 18, 2012 11:04 am

    @ huckfunn:

    I was in the USMC from ’82 to ’86 and just about all the top officers and enlisted guys were Vietnam veterans. There were many occasions I recall, usually at some sort of party, when one of of these guys would break out a box of photos and show ‘em off. And lemme tell ya, some of those images were very disturbing. Lots of enemy dead corpses, body parts, etc. Nasty s**t. And that’s war.


  48. 49 | April 18, 2012 11:05 am

    RIX wrote:

    The way that this works is that your coreligionists
    knock down a couple of buildings killing 3,000 people.
    Then your pressure group demands respect, funding and
    special privileges & gets them.

    There were people genuflecting to them while the ashes were still smoldering.


  49. RIX
    50 | April 18, 2012 11:10 am

    @ MacDuff:

    There were people genuflecting to them while the ashes were still smoldering.

    It’s galling.


  50. 51 | April 18, 2012 11:18 am

    BuddyG wrote:

    @ huckfunn:

    I was in the USMC from ’82 to ’86 and just about all the top officers and enlisted guys were Vietnam veterans. There were many occasions I recall, usually at some sort of party, when one of of these guys would break out a box of photos and show ‘em off. And lemme tell ya, some of those images were very disturbing. Lots of enemy dead corpses, body parts, etc. Nasty s**t. And that’s war.

    On one hand we ask much off our warriors but on the other, we demand that they not offend our delicate sensibilities. That’s bullshit.


  51. BuddyG
    52 | April 18, 2012 11:27 am

    @ MacDuff:

    War = Killing People and Destroying Things

    So, no use getting outraged by disturbing images.


  52. lobo91
    53 | April 18, 2012 11:28 am

    Well, I survived my first experience with surgery in a Kuwaiti hospital.

    They even operated on the correct arm.


  53. 54 | April 18, 2012 11:30 am

    @ lobo91:

    Congratulations! I hope all went well.


  54. 55 | April 18, 2012 11:31 am

    @ lobo91:

    Good to hear!


  55. 56 | April 18, 2012 11:33 am

    lobo91 wrote:

    Well, I survived my first experience with surgery in a Kuwaiti hospital.
    They even operated on the correct arm.

    I’m sure they will correct that mistake on your next visit… :razz:


  56. lobo91
    57 | April 18, 2012 11:34 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ lobo91:

    Congratulations! I hope all went well.

    It went fine. Probably because no actual Kuwaitis were involved.

    Hell, if they replaced the hospital bed with a regular one, it would make a decent hotel room.


  57. Guggi
    58 | April 18, 2012 11:34 am

    lobo91 wrote:

    Afghanistan

    How are you doing ?


  58. lobo91
    59 | April 18, 2012 11:36 am

    @ Guggi:

    Pretty well, all things considered. Surprisingly little pain, actually.

    More awkward than anything, since I’m right handed and they operated on my right shoulder.


  59. 60 | April 18, 2012 11:36 am

    lobo91 wrote:

    Well, I survived my first experience with surgery in a Kuwaiti hospital.

    They even operated on the correct arm.

    Whenever I leave the country, my greatest fear is that I’ll need medical care. My guess is that there’s a lot of American med school grads and it wasn’t as hideous as you imagined. Am I close?


  60. 61 | April 18, 2012 11:38 am

    New Thread.


  61. 62 | April 18, 2012 11:38 am

    lobo91 wrote:

    Probably because no actual Kuwaitis were involved.

    Heh, reminds me of “No actual animals were used in the folding of this movie”


  62. lobo91
    63 | April 18, 2012 11:40 am

    The contrast between private hospitals and government-run ones here is pretty stark.

    Government hospitals are about on par with what you’d see in the British NHS. The Ministry of Health operated clinics where they make foreigners go for medical screening to get their visas are a disgrace. They look like what you’d expect to see in Africa.

    The hospital I was in looks like a 5 star hotel. It has valet parking, a concierge desk, a Starbucks, and a jewelry store.

    I had a huge private room, with a couch and a couple of nice chairs, a flat screen TV, and an ocean view.


  63. Guggi
    64 | April 18, 2012 11:41 am

    @ lobo91:

    Get well soon !


  64. lobo91
    65 | April 18, 2012 11:42 am

    @ MacDuff:

    Many of the doctors are western-trained. Very few are Kuwaitis. All the nurses are either Indian or Fillipino.


  65. spinmore
    66 | April 18, 2012 11:45 am

    @ lobo91:

    “All the nurses are either Indian or Fillipino”

    . . . sounds naughty


  66. lobo91
    67 | April 18, 2012 11:47 am

    @ Guggi:

    Thanks


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