through history, man always seems to be at war. In some cases he is the attacker, in others the defender. In both cases, these wars are broken down into two basic elements, the battles that are fought and the individuals who fight them. The elements conflict, courage, fear, cowardice, heroism, victory, and defeat make up the exploits of war we record in our history books. This paper will deal with war, more specifically, a special exploit within one of the most significant wars ever experienced.
World War II involved millions of fighting men around the world. In Europe, Hitler and Germany were the enemy. In the Far East, Japan was the enemy. To America, Japan was probably more hated since they brought us into the war with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
This assault on Pearl Harbor infuriated President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and he urged his military planners to find a way to bomb Japan. He wanted to bring home to Japan some meaning of war, and that they did. The first bombing of mainland Japan was a logistical challenge, a daring exploit, and had a major effect on both American and Japanese people.
In terms of the Japanese, they had solid reasons to feel secure. No foreign attacker had seriously threatened Japanese soil since Kuble Kahn in 1281. At that time, a violent storm destroyed Kahn’s attack force, and the Japanese referred to this storm as kamikaze, which means divine wind.
In the past, the Japanese felt that they were protected by the kamikaze; but now, they had a more tangible reason to feel secure with antiaircraft guns, warships, and planes. The Japanese were feeling high with their military successes starting with China and extending into the Pacific. They captured Hong Kong, Malaya, Guam, Wake and the Philippines. They destroyed much of the American fleet at Pearl Harbor. It was no wonder that the Japanese didn’t feel confident. The first plan to bomb Japan came shortly after Pearl Harbor. One month after the attack, Admiral Ernest J. King and General H.H. Arnold put the final touches on the original plan proposed by Captain Francis Low. Low was not an airman, but a submarine officer. He was at Norfolk air station when he noticed the outline of a flight deck painted on the runway. As he looked at the runway, he noticed a shadow of a twin engine plane flying across it. In a split second the idea hit him. What if Army bombers could take off an aircraft carrier? Low tried his idea on Admiral King. King thought the idea had potential so he sent it on to Captain Donald Duncan to turn his plan into fact. This he did, and the Tokyo Raid became fact instead of fiction.
The first step in the plan was finding a leader. General Arnold requested Lieutenant Colonel James Dolittle as the man to select the plane and the men for the mission. Dolittle accepted...