Last week was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic while today is an important military aviation anniversary as its the 70th anniversary of the so-called Doolittle Raid on Tokyo using B-25 bombers and led by then-Lieutenant Colonel James “Jimmy” Doolittle. All 16 aircraft used in the raid were lost, either crash landed or were wrecked with one ending up in the Soviet Union where its crew was interned. In addition, 64 out of 80 crew members were rescued with 3 of the 8 captured by the Japanese being executed while more than 250,000 Chinese civilians were reportedly executed for “helping” the raiders to escape.
And while damage from the raid was minimal and paled in comparison to later air raids on Japan using B-29s, it served as a badly needed morale booster for the USA after Pearl Harbor.
The EAA website has also posted this short contemporary newsreel about the raid on its website:
In addition, the National Museum of the US Air Force in Ohio is having a Doolittle Tokyo Raiders reunion that will be attended by all five of the remaining crew members from the raid who are still alive. World War II aviation buffs might want to check out the reunion webpage on the museum’s website which contains videos of previous Doolittle Raider reunions, relevant photos and an audio of a 1980 interview with Jimmy Doolittle.