Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Great American Heroes - General Doolittle

General Jimmy Doolittle was a Brigadier General, Major General, and Lieutenant General during World War II. He was a recipient of the Medal of Honor- the highest award one can receive in the military- for his gallantry and great leadership during the Doolittle Raid. With the intention of striking a major blow to Japan, physically and mentally, and raising the spirits and hope of the United States, the Doolittle Raid took place on April 18, 1942. It was the first time the U.S. had attacked the Japanese home islands, by air, in World War II. Sixteen U.S. Army Air Forces B-25B Mitchell medium bombers made their first ever take-off from a carrier from the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier USS Hornet. They succeeded in bombing military targets in Japan and continued their flight into what was then "friendly China." Every aircraft was damaged beyond repair and eleven crewmen were killed or captured by the Japanese Army in China. One of the B-25's landed in the Soviet Union, and it, along with its crew, were seized. The crew was imprisoned for over a year. A total of thirteen entire crews and all but one of a fourteenth returned to the U.S. Japan did not suffer much damage, but their morale took a dive and they withdrew their mighty aircraft carrier force from the Indian Ocean to defend their home islands. Please watch the short youtube clip below.

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