On April, 18 1942 16 B-25 bombers flew from the USS Hornet on a mission to strike at the Japanese home islands following the Dec. 7, 1941 attack at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Imperial Navy.
The following are pieces from the Naval Institute on the raid and its significance to World War II.
Into the Rising Sun: The Doolittle Raid
Proceedings, April 2007
By Barrett Tillman
Long before jointness became doctrine and purple entered the military vocabulary, U.S. naval and air forces were operating hand in glove in a manner that is not possible today. The best example remains the Doolittle Raid against Japan 65 years ago.
Officially it was the First Special Aviation Project, a bold concept devised by a naval officer—a submariner, no less—and executed by Sailors and Airmen. The timing could not have been better, as it occurred only four-and-a-half months after the debacle at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.
Slideshow: Doolittle Raid
A collection of rare photos from the raid from the U.S. Naval Institute Archives.
Out of the Box Thinking and Execution 68 Years Ago: The Doolittle Raid
USNI Blog, April 2010
Conceived in the dark aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the raid had its genesis in the idea of CAPT Frank Lowe, USN who predicted that Army twin-engine bombers could be launched form a carrier under the right conditions. Planned by Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, USA and executed by 16 modified B-25B’s of the 34th BS, 17th BG flying from the deck of the USS Hornet (CV-8 ) – 650 nm from Tokyo, history was made and an enemy left shocked. The raid took place after only two months of planning and special training with 16 all volunteer crews.