Trained in Secret, These Fearless Pilots Retaliated for Pearl Harbor
On April 18, 1942, Jimmy Doolittle led a squadron on one of the most daring missions of World War II.
In the early weeks of 1942, America was outraged, humiliated, and demoralized. The battleships of its Pacific Fleet lay at the bottom of Pearl Harbor, victims of the Japanese surprise attack launched on December 7, 1941.
In the coming months, the U.S. and its allies could only stand by and watch as the Japanese juggernaut raced across the Pacific, crushing every British, Dutch, French, and American position in its path.
Following the Pearl Harbor attack, President Franklin Roosevelt furiously pressed the chiefs of the armed services to find a way to retaliate against the Japanese homeland, but no one knew how to overcome the logistical challenges.
Warplanes based on aircraft carriers were too small to inflict significant damage, and they didn’t hold