On April 18, 1942, Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle led 16 American B-25 Mitchell bombers in a raid on Tokyo. The planes flew from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, and the raid was significant morale booster for the American people early in World War II. Although the Doolittle Raid inflicted only slight damage, the attack shook the highest echelons of the Japanese government and military establishment. Some of the raiders, including Doolittle, flew on to China after bombing the Japanese capital. Doolittle was among those who evaded capture. Three airmen were killed during the mission. Eight were captured by the Japanese, and three of these were executed. One crew landed in the Soviet Union and was interned.
The B-25 Billy Mitchell Bomber served Allied forces from the beginning of the war to the very end. More »
The deployment of the Ninth Air Force brought the concept of tactical air support into action for the Allies. More »
As a Japanese invasion force attacked Port Moresby, New Guinea, a skeleton crew of two American aircraft carriers moved to confront the invaders. More »
The story of John Birch, missionary and intelligence officer, reveals a hero’s contribution to victory. More »
The B-17 Flying Fortress vs. the B-24 Liberator—veterans of air campaigns in Europe and the Pacific have long debated the merits of these aircraft. More »
The media and public opinion influenced the conduct of the fighting in the Northern Pacific, amid a shroud of secrecy and limited information. More »
Decimated during their attacks against Japanese aircraft carriers, the sacrifice of the brave air crewmen was not in vain. More »
The five remaining Doolittle Raiders were killed or captured in action during the fighting in the Mediterranean. More »
Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey earned a legendary reputation for daring and boldness as commander of the U.S. Third Fleet. More »
The Luftwaffe sent the Me-262 jet fighter aloft in the final months of World War II in a vain effort to challenge Allied air superiority.
Sergeant Red Erwin’s courage in a burning B-29 over Japan saved the lives of his crewmen and earned him the Medal of Honor.
The African Americans of the 54th Massachusetts stood up to the guns of Charleston’s Fort Wagner in a bloody assault in 1863. In so doing, they proved themselves worthy Union soldiers.