I’d like to remind my neighbors that we passed quite an important anniversary this year (on April 18). Most Americans have limited historical education to pass on to their kids, and the public schools have taught little of true American history for decades.
So I thought it appropriate to remember Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle and the 82 young Americans who accompanied him by launching their sixteen B-25 Mitchell bombers from the heaving deck of the aircraft carrier Hornet, off the coast of Japan in April, 1942.
That was just 5 months after the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. The purpose of Doolittle’s raid was not only a pay-back. In reality they did only minor damage to Tokyo, but it was a big boost to morale of Americans who had ben devastated by the carnage inflicted on our Navy at Pearl harbor. and our Allies who were entering the war against Japan.
The Front Page headline of the COLUMBUS EVENING DISPATCH on the 18th of April 1942 read: “U.S. WARPLANES RAIN BOMBS ON LEADING CITIES OF JAP EMPIRE.” The Famed Doolittle Raiders had attacked not only Tokyo but Yokohama, Nagoya and Kobe as well.
The raid swelled the hearts of Americans with pride in those dark days of a war that would drag on four more years. Folks, every day 1,000 World War Two veterans pass away. Even worse their legacy of sacrifice is dying with them.
Three of Doolitles men died in crash landings. three were captured and executed by the japanese. One was starved to death in a prison camp, and another four were held prisoner until the end of the war. The rest avoided capture and defied the odds to return to the U.S. Most of those were hidden from the Japanese troops by friendly Chinese.
Folks, the Japanese killed 250,000 Chinese civilians trying to find the Doolittle Raiders! Jimmy Doolittle was awarded the Medal of Honor, and promoted to Brigadier General, bypassing entirely, the rank of Colonel! That was one of the most important aerial assaults in American history.
Sadly, not many young people today have even heard of Jimmy Doolittle! It’s not “politically correct” to teach about American heroes these days, or about the sacrifices everyday Americans have made to keep this nation free for more than 200 years.
Col. Michael Harley