75 years ago, on April 18 1942, 80 brave men did what had never been attempted: they flew army bombers off a U.S. aircraft carrier on their way to bomb Tokyo. The attack, which has become known to history as the Doolittle Raid, was America’s first strike back at Japan after the infamous sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II. In this report, Mount Pleasant author James Scott talks about the significance of the raid to the war, and its great psychological effect both on the American and Japanese publics.
Scott also relates Columbia’s connection to the historic attack: all the raiders were initially gathered here and volunteered for the mission in South Carolina’s capital city. We also hear excerpts from an interview with 101-year-old Lt. Col. Dick Cole, the sole raider still living, as he talks about how he accidently came to be the co-pilot of legendary pilot and raid leader Jimmy Doolittle.