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History and Heritage

Doolittle Raid

73rd Anniversary of the Raid on Tokyo

Less than 300 feet. Could this really work? It had barely succeeded in practice runs (and those were from the comforts of Eglin Airfield's endless runway.) Now here they were, aboard the seemingly inadequate deck of the USS Hornet - pitching and heaving in the swells of the Pacific.

Nobody spoke. The B-25's engines droned on. Co-pilot Lt. Rich Cole's dogtags clinked and vibrated as the engines grew louder. One last look at the sweetheart - a small photo wedged into the instrument panel.

"God, I hope we covered the checklist," he silently thought to himself. "Boss will be mad if we didn't."

Daring was too weak a description for what these raiders were attempting to pull off. This would alter history ... If it were to work.

Failure was not an option.

Cole took a deep breath and pushed the throttle forward.

Navy's Role in Doolittle Raid Honored

For more information on the Doolittle Raid visit the Naval History Blog