Doolittle Raid

1742 Words4 Pages

On 18 April 1942, while America was mired in combat and taking heavy losses throughout the Pacific, Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle lead eighty men from the 17th Bomb Group on a daring bombing raid into the heart of the Japanese capital city of Tokyo. These men, intent on avenging the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor only months earlier, launched their airplanes off of a Navy Aircraft Carrier on its maiden voyage, the USS Hornet. Their mission was to destroy military targets on the Japanese mainland.

On 7 December 1941 the Japanese Military launched a destructive surprise attack on United States Military Forces in Pearl Harbor, HI. This forced the United States into the ongoing war that they had hoped to avoid. With a Naval Fleet that suffered significant losses in the attack at Pearl Harbor, the US began offensive and defensive campaigns throughout the Pacific region ranging from open water naval battles to close combat engagements in the Philippines. America was quickly losing ground and desperately needed positive news after suffering heavy loses early in the war. President Franklin Roosevelt turned to his senior military advisors in Washington, DC and asked what it would take to strike a blow the Japanese mainland as they had done to America. At the time, the US Army Air Corps had no bases in Asia within bomber range. The Navy had aircraft capable of accomplishing the mission but was reluctant to bring its ships within the bombers range for fear of losing what few ships still remained in the region. It was then that a Navy Captain named Francis Low, an Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer serving on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Ernest King, suggest...

... middle of paper ...

...heaters, the development of a fear complex in Japan, improved relationships with our Allies, and a favorable reaction on the American people."
Although the raid did very little physical damage to Japan it still had several major impacts on the war. First, Japanese military leadership had assured the population that an attack on their mainland was nearly impossible. The raid immediately made citizens question military and political leadership’s decision to attack the United States and bring them into the war. Second, the American people finally had their first piece of good news since the attack on Pearl Harbor. Third, the attack forced the Japanese to keep more of its forces closer to home in order to defend their mainland. This kept Japan for fully utilizing all available forces in the Pacific allowing the US and allies to slowly gain the upper hand.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes how james "jimmy" doolittle led eighty men from the 17th bomb group on a daring bombing raid into the heart of the japanese capital city of tokyo.
  • Explains that the japanese launched a destructive surprise attack on united states military forces in pearl harbor, hi, which forced the us into the ongoing war that they had hoped to avoid.
Show More
Open Document