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The B-25 "Doolittle Raid"

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Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Oct 12, 2005
Posts: 8477
Location: El Dorado
Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:49 am 

Welshflyer has posted a nice collection of his new toy the B-25 here: -- don't miss it!! (Yes, he buys me beers for the propaganda Very Happy )

Anyhow, I thought I'd remind us all of the Doolittle Raid which employed 16 modified B-25s. A fascinating true story for young and old.
Here are excerpts from a Wikipedia article:

On 1 April, the 16 modified bombers, their five-man crews and Army maintenance personnel, totaling 71 officers and 130 enlisted men,[12] were loaded onto USS Hornet at Alameda. Each aircraft carried four specially-constructed 500-pound (225 kg) bombs. Three of these were high-explosive munitions, and one was a bundle of incendiaries. The incendiaries were long tubes, wrapped together in order to be carried in the bomb bay, but designed to separate and scatter over a wide area after release. Five bombs had Japanese "friendship" medals wired to them medals awarded by the Japanese government to U.S. servicemen before the war.[15] To decrease weight (and thus increase range), the bombers' armament was reduced. Each bomber launched with two .50-caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns in an upper turret and a .30-caliber (7.62 mm) machine gun in the nose. The simulated gun barrels mounted in the tail cones, intended to discourage Japanese air attacks from behind, were cited afterward by Doolittle as being particularly effective.[9] The aircraft were clustered closely and tied down on the Hornet's flight deck in the order of their expected launch.

The raiders faced several unforeseen challenges during their flight to China: night was approaching, the aircraft were running low on fuel, and the weather was rapidly deteriorating. None would have reached China at all except for a fortuitous tail wind as they came off the target that increased their ground speed by 25 knots for seven hours.[24] As a result of these problems, the crews realized they would probably not be able to reach their intended bases in China, leaving them the option of either bailing out over eastern China or crash landing along the Chinese coast.[9][25] Fifteen aircraft reached the Chinese coast after 13 hours of flight and crash landed or bailed out; the crew who flew to Russia landed 40 miles (65 km) beyond Vladivostok, where their B-25 was confiscated and the crew interned until they managed to escape through Iran in 1943.[2][3] It was the longest combat mission ever flown by the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber, averaging approximately 2,250 miles (3,600 km).

Doolittle and his crew, after safely parachuting into China, received assistance from Chinese soldiers and civilians as well as John Birch, an American missionary in China. As did the others who participated in the mission, Doolittle had to bail out but fortunately landed in a heap of dung (saving a previously injured ankle from breaking) in a rice paddy in China near Chuchow (Quzhou). Doolittle thought that the raid had been a terrible failure because the aircraft were lost, and that he would be court-martialed upon his return.[26] Doolittle subsequently recommended Birch for intelligence work with General Chennault's Flying Tigers.

For the complete article go here:
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Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Aug 20, 2007
Posts: 1360
Location: UK - London
Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:59 am 

Yeah, gotta admin.. This raid was one risky business and showed that America was a country not to mess with.

This is part of the movie (i admit) i cryed over (a lil) when i watch the Pearl Harbor film
If you never seen it, get it, Its a brilliant film.
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