Doolittle B-25 Raid Crew On Deck Of USS Hornet, 1942

May 24, 2021

This is a colorized photo of one of the 16 crews who participated in the Doolittle Raid in 1942. The photo was taken before takeoff on April 18, 1942 from the aircraft carrier, as the planes would not return.

Image source: Wikipedia, colored by Mads Madsen,

The individuals were part of Crew #1, and from left to right, (front row): Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, pilot; Lt. Richard E. Cole, copilot; (back row) Lt. Henry A. Potter, navigator; SSgt. Fred A. Braemer, bombardier; SSgt. Paul J. Leonard. Flight engineer/gunner.

Planning The Raid

Source: (US Army Air Force/Wikipedia).

After Pearl Harbor, on December 21, 1941, President Roosevelt spoke to the Joint Chiefs of Staff to argue that America should bomb Japan as soon as possible to boost American morale.

Francis S. Low, the Assistant Chief of Staff for antisubmarine warfare, developed the concept for the attack, reporting to Admiral Ernest J. King on January 10, 1942, that they could launch twin engine army bombers from an aircraft carrier. The original plan called for the bombers to return to the aircraft carrier after the raid was complete. Although tests revealed that the bombers could take off from the carrier, they were unable to land on it.