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Subscription offers. Neither of these two pilots were on the Doolittle Raid. The idea of having land-based planes take off from a carrier was first thought of by General Henry H. Low, a submariner on the staff of Admiral Ernest S. Jimmy Doolittle had never been a Captain or a Colonel. He resigned his regular commission as a 1st Lieutenant in and left active duty.
He was given Reserve commission as a Major. He was recalled to active duty at his own request in as a Major.
He was a Lieutenant Colonel at the time of the Tokyo Raid. He was promoted to Brigadier General after the raid, skipping the rank of Colonel. Doolittle was promoted to full general in by special act of Congress. The section titled " The First Joint Action " has a very detailed account of the preparations and the procedures involved with the Doolittle Raid. Be sure to visit the various sections of this web site listed at the left.
If you have anything you would like to contribute to this web site please be sure to email me. A rare signature of Doolittle using only "Jim" for the first name. All content on this web site and the linked pages are property of Todd Joyce Copyright and may not be copied, borrowed or duplicated without specific written permission. If you have anything you would like to contribute to this web site please email me.
This site is best viewed at x screen resolution. My father was the Pilot of plane 10 which took off of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on a secret mission to bomb Japan Mainland for the first time in history. This site is also a tribute to all the service personnel who helped these 80 men including reserve crews, Navy personnel on the Task Force, and also to all who have helped with the Reunions each year including the Escorts, the entire Air Force and each years Sponsor for the Reunions.
The Raid was a total secret to all involved and the members of the raid were chosen by volunteering for a "dangerous secret mission". The members did not know the target destination until the planes were loaded on the ship and the raid was underway. This was to prevent any "leakage" of information about the raid.
This would be the first attack on Japan mainland of WW2. Because the airplanes were too large to be taken below deck on the aircraft carrier they had to be stored at the end of the runway on top. As a result the runway was very short, especially for the first plane in line, and special training was required to teach the pilots to be able to take off in such a short distance with a full payload. April 18, - About miles from Japan mainland a small fishing boat was spotted and destroyed and General Doolittle felt that this small boat may have warned Japan that there is a big ass US Aircraft Carrier just outside of town So Jimmy Doolittle ordered the raid to proceed immediately.
As a result of the early take-off the planes would be short on fuel to reach the "Safe Zones" in nearby China despite desperate measures taken to prepare the planes in advance by engineers to give them the maximum amount of fuel storage space available including removing the tail gunner section and installing broomsticks painted like machine guns and placing a rubber fuel tank in the tail section, carrying ten 5 gallon gas cans for manual fuel addition during flight to a tank installed where the lower gun turret was, and a larger tank located in the bomb bay.
Total fuel payload was 1, Gallons for a mile range. Due to the possibility of detection by the small boat the raid was ordered to proceed ahead of schedule and aircraft takeoff was to begin immediately. The planes now had about enough fuel to successfully reach the landing zones - if they flew straight to them without errors in navigation or using evasive maneuvers.
All 16 B's successfully took off from the Carrier and bombed their targets. Most planes encountered anti-aircraft fire and some encountered enemy interception in the air. All of the airplanes except one either crash landed or the crew bailed out. The plane that did land, landed in Russia and the crew were internees. After being held captive with liberal freedoms available an escape attempt was executed to Iran and British Consul helped the men back to the US on May 29, - Over a year after the raid.
His plane encountered enemy aircraft during the raid and the turret gunner believes one fighter was hit but does not believe it was shot down. He endured heavy anti-aircraft fire resulting in a large hole in the fuselage of the plane. He bombed a Steel Mill in Tokyo successfully. His crew and himself bailed out of the plane about 30 miles north of Chuchow China. My father was the last one to bail out of the plane as he wanted to make sure the plane did not circle around and injure any of his crew.
When he did finally bail out his. It was almost dark when he bailed out and could not see the ground due to the darkness. He could hear his airplane circling below him and he was scared the plane would hit him but it never did. The parachutes used in were made of silk and was about the equivalent of using an umbrella to soften your landing. He explained to me that he hit the ground without warning on the side of a steep mountain and was surprised that the landing didn't seriously hurt him or even worse.
He lit a cigarette after he was back on land and when he was finished with it he flicked it and it just kept going down and down and down so he decided to stay put until daylight for his own safety. Facts about the Doolittle Tokyo Raid: 80 men took part in the raid.