Doolittle Raid or Tokyo raid; 18 April 1942

By Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson

18th April, 2022

This was a U.S. air force road on Tokyo (no surprises there) and other targets on the main island of Japan, Honshu. It was the first attack of the war by the U.S.A. on the archipelago of Japan. You can read about it here.

This says The raid was planned by, led by, and named after Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle…

This was 80 years ago today of course. Interestingly perhaps, as there were 16 bombers used in the raid and each had a crew of five there were also 80 crew members in total.

Not so interestingly perhaps is that the number 16 is my birthday. But not in April.

The unusual feature of the raid was the use of normally land based bombers (B-25B Mitchell) to fly from an aircraft carrier, the first time this had been done by the U.S. This was from the USS Hornet.

The map below extracted from the Wikipedia link shows the plan of attack.

Purpose of the raid

To attack the morale of the Japanese and boost the morale of the Americans in the USA. Don’t forget not all Americans live in the USA, although it seems many in the USA seem to think there is no one outside of the States

Doolittle recounted in his autobiography that the raid was intended to bolster American morale and to cause the Japanese to begin doubting their leadership: “An attack on the Japanese homeland would cause confusion in the minds of the Japanese people and sow doubt about the reliability of their leaders. … Americans badly needed a morale boost.”

42 crops up again

For those interested in 42 the ultimate answer to the ultimate question, here is something interesting.

The 16 bombers which took part have the numbers 40-2 at start of each serial no., i.e. forty two!

And the only aircraft to survive after being interned in Russia was 40-2242!

And from which you can get the number 2022, the current year.

Aircraft and crew losses

They all took off safely, but one crashed before reaching Japan. All other aircraft crashed after bombing trying to reach landing fields in China, apart from one which made it to Russia where it was interned with the crew.

Total crew casualties: 3 KIA: 2 off the coast of China, 1 in China; 8 POW: 3 executed, 1 died in captivity, 4 repatriated.

Damage caused

The physical damage was slight, but the psychological damage was great.

The attack was in many ways similar to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour with the element of surprise.

The raid shook staff at Japanese Imperial General Headquarters. Japan attacked territories in China to prevent similar shuttle bombing runs. High command withdrew substantial air force resources from supporting offensive operations in order to defend the home islands; two carriers were diverted to the Alaskan island invasion to prevent them from being used as bomber bases and could not be used in the Midway operations. Thus, the raid’s most significant strategic accomplishment was that it compelled the Japanese high command into ordering a very inefficient disposition of their forces, and poor decision-making due to fear of attack, for the rest of the war.


The fact that medium, normally land-based bombers carried out the attack confused the IJN’s high command. This confusion and the knowledge that Japan was now vulnerable to air attack strengthened Yamamoto’s resolve to destroy the American carrier fleet, which was not present in the Pearl Harbor Attack, resulting in a decisive Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway.

Consequences in China

What is very grievous is that huge numbers of Chinese were killed as revenge by the Japanese army. Even if the arguments over the Chinese Communist Party’s involvement were true, there still remains considerable evidence of Japanese troops committing massacres, and consistent with some soldiers and officers in the army committing atrocities elsewhere.

The city of Nancheng, population of around 50,000, was laid waste, razed to the ground.

The war in China is easily forgotten in the West, but the numbers killed were immense, and the destruction enormous. You may care to look at this link for more info on what went on.

All this is a consequence of treating human beings as mere cattle, and is a result of the theory of evolution which says in effect we are no more than a collection of atoms, rather than precious soul in a physical body.

I will look at the evolution/creation issues in due course, but there is already plenty of stuff out there already.


Amusingly and anagram of USS Hornet is ‘hurts nose’. The USS Hornet ‘stung’ the enemy with the bombers launched from its flight deck.

A sting even from a hornet will not normally kill you, whether on the nose or not. But it caused a serious reaction in Japan from which ultimately it did not recover.

The Doolittle Raid did little physical damage but a lot of psychological damage and proved critical to the Battle of Midway later in June, under 2 months away.

So we can say that the Doolittle Raid was both a Didlittle raid and a Didlot raid!

I wonder what this might be equivalent to today. In Scotland I see Nicola Sturgeon has been told off by police for forgetting to wear a mask, albeit briefly.

As opposed to forgetting to wear a brief, albeit maskly.

I can’t see that as being highly significant to Scotland turning a corner, but you never know.

As regards the U.S.A. if anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

P.S. If you haven’t seen it yet, you might like this on Pearl Harbor.

Tora, Tora, Tora!

Author: alphaandomega21

Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector'sson. When not posting pages or paging posties, trying to be a good husband, and getting over a long term health issue, I am putting the world to rights. I have nothing better to do, so why not? But of course that includes dancing, being funny (in more than one sense), poking fun at life, poking fun at myself, deflating the pompous, reflating the sad. Seeking to heal the whole of the soul (and body where possible). In short making life as good as it possibly can be for others as well as myself. You can't say fairer than that. But if you can, please say. People need to know.

One thought on “Doolittle Raid or Tokyo raid; 18 April 1942”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: