On the stormy morning of 18 April 1942, Doolittle would lead a force of sixteen specially modified B-25 bombers – each with a crew of five men – off the heaving deck of the Hornet to strike military targets in the heart of Japan, giving America and its allies an important and badly needed morale boost in the wake of the destruction at Pearl Harbor.
The plan was to hit their targets and then head for China to land their B-25s at predetermined airfields, as landing a medium bomber onto the Hornet would be impossible. However, after being discovered, the aircraft were forced to launch earlier than planned, meaning they would not have enough fuel to complete the return journey. Most crews bailed out, a few made water landings, and one crew diverted to land in Vladivostok, Russia, where they were interned by their Soviet “allies”. Eight men were captured and tortured by the Japanese, who executed three following a mock trial; Four of the POWs survived to return home.
The thrilling story of Doolittle’s Tokyo Raiders is one most legendary and courageous missions of World War II.
The print has been individually numbered and personally signed by the artist along with five veterans who flew on this iconic mission.
Lt. Col. RICHARD E. COLE – Jimmy Doolittle’s Co-Pilot, Crew #1 – Target Tokyo
Maj. Gen. DAVID M. JONES – Pilot, Crew #5 – Target Tokyo
S/Sgt DAVID J. THATCHER – Flight Engineer/Gunner, Crew #7 – Target Tokyo
MSgt. EDWIN W. HORTON Jr – Flight Engineer/Gunner, Crew #10 – Target Tokyo
Major THOMAS C. GRIFFIN – Navigator / Bombardier, Crew #9 -Target Tokyo
John Shaw’s work is among the most collectible in the field of aviation art and this stunning print has now become very sought after. As all of the legendary Doolittle Raiders have now passed into history it is a great acquisition for aviation art collectors and autograph hunters alike.