James "Jimmy" Doolittle had a remarkable career before World War 2 began. Seeing the conflict coming, he re-enlisted in the Army Air Force and was put in charge of a daring plan to strike back after Japan had inflicted such stunning defeats against the U.S. and British interests all across the Pacific and Indian Oceans in the first days of the war. The crews of 16 B-25 Medium Bombers were trained by Doolittle for short take offs and then loaded onto the U.S,S, Hornet aircraft carrier. Spotted by Japanese picket boats a day earlier than the anticipated launch, the B-25s took off from the Hornet (Previously considered an impossible feat) and flew to targets in Japan. After bombing, they made their way as best as possible to China (One crew flew to Russia and two crew were captured) all crashing or bailing out over the mainland.
Something of an elaborate stunt, it nonetheless caused the Japanese thereafter to devote inordinate amounts of men and energy to "Home Defense". Later massive air armadas of Boeing B-29 Superfortresses reduced Japan's cities to horrific rubble.
-Original artwork by Robert Coker. CokerAirArt
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