Today, April 18, marks the 66th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo during World War II.
Eighty men, all volunteers for a mission with very little odds of survival, flew a bombing mission in B-25s (B-25s were mass produced in Kansas City during the war) off of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet.
Their mission — to bomb Tokyo and fly on to China to try to escape — was successful. America was reeling from defeat after defeat since the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The mission alarmed the Japanese, and they pulled back some resources.
Of the 80 men in the 16 B-25s, more than half of them survived the war. General Doolittle, the leader of the mission and the first B-25 to take off (he led from the front), received the Medal of Honor. Eight men became POW’s, three were executed, one died of torture and four survived. Five were interned in Russia. And 64 men actually made it to China.
Today, there are eleven of the original flyers still living.