Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum will mark the 75th anniversary of the United States’ response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor with a free symposium on the mission that was given the codename “The Doolittle Raid.”
The free event, “Doolittle Raiders Target Tokyo” will feature nationally-acclaimed local author James M. Scott. He was recently named a Pulitizer Prize finalist for his work on the book, “Target Tokyo,” a comprehensive account of the Doolittle Raid. Additionally, Martin Crouch, the son of Columbia, S.C. native and Doolittle raider Horace “Sally” Crouch will share memories and artifacts from his late father’s collection.
The Doolittle Raid took place on April 18, 1942 and was the first American airstrike on Tokyo, Japan during World War II. It was also the first time B-25 bombers had been launched from the deck of an aircraft carrier, the USS Hornet CV-8. The mission was named for Army Colonel James Doolittle who planned and led the attack by sixteen B-25s, each equipped with four bombs.
The raid was a great challenge due to the distance needed to travel and limited fuel capacity. While most of the bombers completed their bombing missions, 15 of the planes crash landed in China after dropping their bombs in Tokyo. The other plane crashed in territory of the Soviet Union and the crew was held as prisoners of war until the end of the war.
Even though the other planes (crash) landed in China, the Japanese went to find them and were able to capture eight of the Doolittle Raiders. Three of these men were executed.
The symposium will involve a discussion of the unique challenges Col. Doolittle faced in planning the attack. Our museum is home to a B-25 that was used for training purposes during World War II.