The Doolittle Raid was a bomber raid launched on the Japanese mainland on April 18, 1942. The raid — largely a propaganda and morale-building exercise — was planned and led by then Lieutenant Colonel James Harold Doolittle. The raid was made possible by a technical observation of Captain Francis Low that twin-engined bombers could be launched from an aircraft carrier. Subsequent tests appeared to prove that a B-25 Mitchell could be launched with a reasonable bomb load, hit targets in Japan and then fly on to land in China.
Wreckage of Major General James Doolittle’s plane in China after the raid on Tokyo
Chinese carry Doolittle's raiders to safety
Doolittle’s men require air raid shelter too. Major General James Doolittle’s Tokyo raiders are grouped outside this shelter carved from the mountainside. They lived here for 10 days after assembling from their Chinese mountain retreats. Japanese planes raided nearby villages frequently
Major General Doolittle, his Tokyo bombing crew and some Chinese friends are pictured in China after the US Airmen bailed out following the Doolittle led air raid on Japan
Left to right: Major Thomas W. Ferebee, Bombardier; Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr. Pilot; Capt. Theodore J. Van Kirk, Navigator; and Captain Robert Lewis, officer crew of the Enola Gay, the ship that made the historic flight over Hiroshima to drop the first atomic bomb
At the briefing prior to flight of the Enola Gay, Capt. William Sterling Parsons and Col. Tibbets go over last minute data