INTO THE TEETH OF THE WIND - The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders
It was a simple plan with a simple objective, yet impossibly difficult and fraught with danger at every step. Four short months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the USS Hornet would sail to within range of the Japanese coast and launch sixteen heavilt-laden B-25 Bombers, never previously flown off the deck of a carrier, to make a daring strike against a major Japanese city. With each aircraft weighed down by a ton of bombs and fuel to fly 2400 miles, take-off would be marginal; landing a twin-engined bomber back on the short deck, impossible. The crews would have to fly on towards China and make the best they could of survival.
At 8:00am on the morning of 18 April 1942 Admiral Halsey flashed a message to Hornet to launch aircraft; the klaxon aboard ship boomed "Army pilots, man your planes!" In worstening weather, and with mountainous waves sending spray over the bow, Hornet's deck was a hive of activity as the crews ran to their aircraft. By 8:20am, with engines warmed and magnetos checked, mission leader Lt. Colonel Jimmy Doolittle gave the thumbs-up to the deck launching officer. Releasing brakes, he pushed the throttle levers to the stops, and gunning his heavy bomber towards the now heaving bow of the ship, timing his run to coincide with the maximum pitch of the deck. The B-25 became airborne with feet to spare.
Inspired by many meetings with survivors of the raid, Robert has depicted the scene as Jimmy Doolittle lifts his heavily laden B-25 off the deck. Fifteen gallant crews, with engines turning, are lined up and ready to follow. These gallant 'Doolittle Raiders' struck the first blow to the very heart of the Japanese Empire, causing the enemy to divert aircraft and resources to the defence of their homeland.
The Print is Signed by FIVE veteran 'Doolittle Raiders':-
Lt. Colonel Richard COLE - Jimmy Doolittle's Co-pilot - Plane#1
Major Thomas C. GRIFFIN - Navigator - Plane#9
Master Sergeant Edwin HORTON Jr - Gunner - Plane#10
Major General David M. JONES - Pilot - Plane#5
Staff Sergeant David J. THATCHER - Flight engineer/Gunner - Plane#9
The Print measures 30 x 23.5 Inches
I have one copy in Mint Condition with CoA and Brochure.