God Bless the Doolittle Raiders
It may have been the most unexpected, certainly one of the most heroic wake-up calls in history. It should be remembered and honored more than it is.
The spring of 1942 was not a happy time for civilization. Hitler and his Nazis owned or controlled most of Europe. After committing mass murder and mayhem at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy was rampaging unchecked in the Pacific, pitching a shutout against the underequipped and undermanned Brits and Americans. Almost as much of America’s Pacific fleet lay at the bottom of Pearl Harbor than was available to engage the Japanese.
The game-changing sea battles at Coral Sea and Midway would tilt the Pacific equation more in the Allies’ favor in May and June. But in April, Americans were starved for good news. Starved for any indication that we could strike back at our enemies. Enter 80 American heroes, volunteers, who managed to do what no civilian and almost no one in uniform thought was possible in April of 1942, to bomb the mainland of Japan.