Daily Archives: April 21, 2014

The Doolittle Raid: 30 Seconds that Changed the Course of the Pacific War

Friends of Padre Steve’s World, I am tired tonight. I expect to be doing a couple of Gettysburg articles as well as articles dealing with the Nuremberg Trials and military ethics in the coming days. However because of my almost exclusive focus on Holy Week I have written very little of anything else. Unfortunately there was a lot of other stuff going on as well as some significant anniversaries of historical events. One of those events was the Tokyo Raid where 16 Army Air Force B-25 Mitchell bombers commanded by Colonel Jimmy Doolittle flew off of the deck of the USS Hornet to attack Tokyo. Militarily the attack was insignificant and merely a pin-prick against a hitherto undefeated Japanese offensive in the Pacific. However, it was an event that changed the course of the war and of history. This is the tribute that I wrote last year about these brave men. Peace, Padre Steve+

The Inglorius Padre Steve's World


This week marks the 71st anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. 80 US Army Air Corps flyers manning 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers conducted a mission from the deck of the USS Hornet CV-8which though it caused little damage changed the course of World War Two in the Pacific.

The genus of the strike came from the desire of President Franklin Roosevelt to bomb Japan as soon as possible during a meeting just prior to Christmas 1941. Various aircraft types were considered and in the end the military chose the B-25 because it had the requisite range and had the best characteristics. Aircraft and their crews from the 17th Bomb Group which had the most experience with the aircraft were modified to meet the mission requirements. Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle was selected to lead the mission.

Once the aircraft were ready they and their crews reported to Eglin Field…

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