The Doolittle raid on Tokyo.


Today is the 73rd anniversary of the Doolittle raid on Tokyo.

Annual rendezvous were held for many years but General Doolittle died in 1993.

Doolittle’s most important contribution to aeronautical technology was the development of instrument flying. He was the first to recognize that true operational freedom in the air could not be achieved unless pilots developed the ability to control and navigate aircraft in flight, from takeoff run to landing rollout, regardless of the range of vision from the cockpit. Doolittle was the first to envision that a pilot could be trained to use instruments to fly through fog, clouds, precipitation of all forms, darkness, or any other impediment to visibility; and in spite of the pilot’s own possibly convoluted motion sense inputs. Even at this early stage, the ability to control aircraft was getting beyond the motion sense capability of the pilot. That is, as aircraft became faster and more maneuverable, pilots could become seriously disoriented without visual cues from outside the cockpit, because aircraft could move in ways that pilots’ senses could not accurately decipher.

He was a great pioneer and air racer. He lived to the age of 96 and died in Pebble Beach, California in 1993.

L1/Japan, Tokyo Raid/1942/pho 12

His crew.

Survivors continued to meet and there are five surviving Doolittle Raiders.

There were 80 raiders of whom 56 survived the war.

There was one physician, Dr. Thomas R. White, on the raid. He flew as a Gunner in order to go on the raid. He was one of the three raiders to receive the the Silver Star for Gallantry in the line of duty for saving the life of Lieutenant Ted Lawson by amputating his leg shortly after the bail out and donated some of his own blood by transfusion.

L1/Japan, Tokyo Raid/1942/pho 57

He is one of these crew members.

The last reunion was held on November 13, 2013.

And now there are two.


Vale brave men.


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