At 8:20am on April 18, 1942, just four months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a small force of B-25 Mitchell bombers under the command of Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, took off from the aircraft carrier Hornet. Unlike any other mission before or since, the crews departed on their dangerous journey with the full knowledge that each was on a one-way ticket. With insufficient fuel to make the return journey, they would have to rely on their wits and help from the Chinese resistant to make it back.
The mission assignment was to make a strike at the heart of Imperial Japan, panic the high command into diverting men and machines from offensive to defensive duties, and to give America a massive boost in morale. They achieved all of these, and in so doing effected what became one of the most remarkable air raids of World War II.
“We only spent thirty seconds over Tokyo,” remarked Pilot Ted Lawson, the skipper of, the seventh B-25 to be launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet; Their target, the industrial area in downtown Tokyo. The B-25s got so close to the ground to hit their targets that crew members recalled seeing the expressions on the Japanese’s faces. By the end of the mission, the bombers had begun to run out of the much-needed fuel to get them home, resulting in “Ruptured Duck” ditching off the coast of China.
This emotive piece is individually numbered and personally signed by the artist Craig Kodera and four of the Raiders – three from crew #7 plus their legendary leader, “Jimmy” Doolittle:
General JAMES H. DOOLITTLE – Mission Commander and Pilot of Crew #1 – Target Tokyo
Colonel DEAN DAVENPORT – Co Pilot of Crew #7 – Target Tokyo
Captain CHARLES MCCLURE – Navigator of Crew #7 – Target Tokyo
Staff Sergeant DAVID THATCHER – Flight Engineer/Gunner of Crew #7 – Target Tokyo
Published in April 1992 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Raid this seldom seen print has been sold out for many years and is a perfect acquisition for Doolittle Raid collectors and autograph hunters alike.