One last toast for the Doolittle Raiders

The story of the Doolittle Raiders is one for the ages. After Japan succeeded in a vicious attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor, the United States hatched a plan for an immediate retaliation. The plan called for pilots to fly a secret mission over Tokyo to drop bombs on strategic targets. The only problem was that in those days bombers could take off from the carrier but they could not land. It would be a one way mission in which pilots would have to drop their payload in Tokyo and then try to land in China and escape to safety. It was high stakes and very dangerous. The mission ended up being a success and was a significant boost for Americans still in shock over the attacks at Pearl Harbor. The Doolittle Raiders—so named after the commander of the mission—have been American heroes ever since.

The surviving Doolittle Raiders have been meeting annually ever since the mission. This year, however, marks their last meeting. NBC New reports above.


  • Donald Byron Johnson

    The reason the Doolittle raiders had to land on the mainland is that the bombers took off from carriers but could not land on them. They actually caused only modest physical damage, but the fact that any bombs at all were dropped was a large psychological blow to the Japanese leaders, who had promised to keep the homeland safe. The main strategic result was the Japanese shifted fighters to patrol Japan instead of putting them on the front lines.

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