The United States didn't learn their fate until August 15, 1942, when the Swiss Consulate General in Shanghai sent message that eight crew members were prisoners of the Japanese at the city's police headquarters.
On August 28, 1942, Hallmark, Farrow and Spatz faced a war crimes trial in a Japanese court, alleging they strafed and murdered Japanese civilians. At 4:30 p.m., October 15, 1942, they were taken by truck to Public Cemetery Number 1 and executed by firing squad. The Japanese announced the sentencing four days later. The surviving crewmembers would serve life sentences.
Meder, Nielsen, Hite, Barr and DeShazer were kept in military confinement and put on a starvation diet. Their health deteriorated rapidly. Meder died in Nanking, China, Dec. 1, 1943.
In August 1945, just days after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, American troops arrived at the prison camp and freed the men. By the time they were liberated, Barr was near death and remained in China to recuperate until October. He transferred to Letterman General Hospital, a military hospital in Clinton, Iowa. Barr began to experience severe emotional problems, most likely PTSD. Without proper treatment, he became suicidal and was committed. After Doolittle personally intervened in November, convincing doctors to change Barr's treatment, he eventually recovered.
The true fate of the POWs was revealed in a February 1946 war crimes trial in Shanghai. Four Japanese officers were found guilty of mistreating the eight captured Raiders and sentenced to hard labor. Three served five years and one nine years.
One of those POWs would return to Japan years later.
DeShazer graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 1948 and served as a missionary in Japan for more than 30 years.
When Doolittle returned to the States, he was still under the assumption he would face disciplinary action. But the raid was considered a success, for it had provided a much-needed morale boost.
Doolittle received the Medal of Honor from President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House, May 19, 1942, "For conspicuous leadership above and beyond the call of duty, involving personal valor and intrepidity at an extreme hazard to life," his citation read. "With the apparent certainty of being forced to land in enemy territory or to perish at sea, Lt. Col. Doolittle personally led a squadron of Army bombers, manned by volunteer crews, in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland."
Doolittle was also promoted two paygrades to brigadier general.
Seventy-two years after Doolittle received the Medal of Honor, his Raiders were recognized, May 19, 2014, when the United States House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 1209. The bill would award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Doolittle Raiders for "outstanding heroism, valor, skill, and service to the United States in conducting the bombings of Tokyo."
The award ceremony took place at the Capitol Building, April 15, 2015, with retired Air Force Lt. Gen. John Hudson, the director of the National Museum of the Air Force, accepting the award on behalf of the Doolittle Raiders.
The mission was the first against the Japanese homeland and the longest ever flown in combat by the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber, averaging approximately 2,250 nautical miles. And like the B-25s they once flew, these 80 brave men flew onto the pages of history.
After the raid, the Japanese Imperial Army began the Operation Sei-go. Its goal was purely aimed at preventing the eastern coastal provinces of China from being used again for an attack on Japan. Airfields within an area of 20,000 square miles where the Raiders had landed were rendered unusable. Japanese occupiers used germ warfare and committed other atrocities, and anyone found with American items was shot on sight. About 250,000 Chinese were killed during the Sei-go campaign.
From the late 1940s until 2013, the Doolittle Raiders held an annual reunion almost every year. In a private ceremony during each reunion, the surviving Raiders would perform a roll call and toast their fellow Raiders who had died during the previous year.
Each Raider had a special silver goblet, engraved with his name right side up and upside down. The goblets of those who died were inverted.
In 2013, the last public Doolittle Raiders reunion was held at Fort Walton Beach, Florida, not far from where the crews had trained at Eglin Air Force Base. The goblets are maintained at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Of the 80 Raiders, only Col. Richard Cole remains at 101 years young.
"I was scared," recalled Cole in a 2015 "All Hands" interview. "But I decided there's no sense in trying to second guess and worry about what's going to happen, because it's going to happen anyway.
All the airplanes did what they were supposed to do. The mission was a success and we were happy, even though it cost some lives and the aircraft." -Col. Richard Cole
For part one, click here