Just four months after Japan’s attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Colonel ‘James’ Doolittle, a noted aviator in his own right, led a daring bombing raid on Tokyo. The raid is notable for many reasons, not only because of the length of the flight needed to reach Tokyo, but also the difficulty they had in getting the aircraft off the flight deck, the fate of the captured crewmen and because of the tragic consequences for 250,000 Chinese civilians massacred by the Japanese in retaliation for the help that was given to the American airmen who managed to make it to China.
The Tokyo Raid was specifically in retaliation for what the US saw as an unprovoked attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. The Japanese had intended to launch their attack only after formally notifying the US that they had withdrawn from peace negotiations, but in fact the raid took place before any such notification took place. Continue reading “US Bombers Avenge Pearl Harbor”