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Doolittle's Tokyo Raiders

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Profiles

  • Harold Althouse Spatz (1921 - 1942)
    Doolittle raid, POW. Crew #16 Harold A. Spatz, 6936659, Sergeant Engineer-Gunner Crew 16 Born July 14, 1921, Lebo, Kansas Executed by Japanese firing squad, October 15, 1942 Graduated from Lebo High...
  • Jacob Eierman (1913 - 1994)
    Jacob Eierman, 6883947, Major Engineer Crew 14 Born February 2, 1913, Baltimore, Maryland Died January 16, 1994 Enlisted December 4, 1935 at Baltimore, Maryland and served at bases in New York, Hawa...
  • Col. James H. Macia, Crew #14 (1916 - 2009)
    He was born on April 10, 1916 in Tombstone, Arizona. After graduating from Tombstone High School, he attended the University of Arizona studying mining engineering. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma f...
  • LTC Edgar E "Mac" McElroy, Crew # 13 (1912 - 2003)
    His love of aviation caused him to enter the U.S. Army Air Corps and receive pilot training prior to World War II. At the outbreak of the war, he volunteered with Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle to take ...
  • Clayton J. Campbell (1917 - 2002)
    Clayton J. Campbell, 0-419327, Lieutenant Colonel Navigator Crew 13 Born March 14, 1917 in St. Maries, Idaho Died November 17, 2002, Richland, WA Graduated from University of Idaho with B.S. degree ...

The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders was a group eighty men from all walks of life who flew into history on April 18, 1942. They were all volunteers and this was a very dangerous mission. Sixteen B-25 bombers took off from the deck of the USS Hornet, led by (then Col.) Jimmy Doolittle. They were to fly over Japan, drop their bombs and fly on to land in a part of China that was still free. Of course, things do not always go as planned.

The months following the attack on Pearl Harbor were the darkest of the war, as Imperial Japanese forces rapidly extended their reach across the Pacific. Our military was caught off guard, forced to retreat, and losing many men in the fall of the Philippines, leading to the infamous Bataan Death March.

By spring, 1942, America needed a severe morale boost. The raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942, certainly provided that – cheering the American military and public. Yet, the Doolittle Raid meant so much more, proving to the Japanese high command that their home islands were not invulnerable to American attacks and causing them to shift vital resources to their defense. Two months later that decision would play a role in the outcome of the Battle of Midway, the American victory that would begin to turn the tide in the Pacific War.

The navigator of the USS Hornet during this mission was himself a highly regarded Navy pilot, Commander Frank Akers. His profile has been added to this project in respect for his assistance in the Doolittle mission.

Amazing Chinese civilians helped the downed crews escape and return safely to Allied bases. They did this at an incredibly heavy cost, with some accounts estimating as many as 250,000 civilians were killed by Japanese forces in their search and as reprisals.

In one curious sidenote, Plane # 7 was piloted by Capt. Joseph E. York, who have been born Joseph E. Cichowski. He landed his plane in Russia, and with his crew spent 15 month making their way to Iran, and freedom.

As of April 9, 2019 Lt. Col. Richard Cole, the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, has passed away at the age of 103. He was Jimmy Doolittle's co-pilot.

www.childrenofthedoolittleraiders.com Offers a comprehensive database of all members of the mission, with photographs.