It was 75 years ago this coming April 18 that the Doolittle Raid was launched to avenge the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. President Franklin Roosevelt gathered with his senior military counselors to plan an ambitious, risky counterstrike against the heart of the Japanese Empire: Tokyo.
Sixteen U.S. Army bombers under the command of Jimmy Doolittle lifted off the deck of the USS Hornet. This one-way mission pummeled factories, refineries, dockyards and other targets in the Japanese capitol -then there was the task of escaping to China.
While Roosevelt heralded the raid as a propaganda victory it came at a heavy price by the Chinese people who suffered the most -victims of a retaliatory campaign by the Japanese Army that tragically claimed the lives of an estimated 250,000 Chinese lives.
This is one of the most exhaustive and detailed narratives of the Doolittle Raid ever assembled, with author James M. Scott having access to never-before utilized or published international sources.
You'll hear more about Jimmy Doolittle, the son of an Alaskan gold prospector, a former boxer and brilliant engineer who earned his doctorate from MIT, Chiang Kai-shek, Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell, Vice Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, Jr., and the young American pilots, navigators and bombardiers -many little more than teenagers- who volunteered for a mission that few expected to return from.
There are both English and Chinese language editions of this remarkable book.
Tune in this coming Saturday, March 4, 2017 to 1490 WGCH and anywhere on WGCH.com starting at 10:30 a.m. Eastern USA Time/ 11:30 P.M. China Time.