OFF HONSHU, APRIL 18, 1942
REVENGE SPED TOWARD Japan at nearly four miles per minute, borne upon olive-drab wings.
Flown by America’s finest aviator, the lone bomber approached the enemy shore at 200 feet. Three hours after taking off from the aircraft carrier Hornet
, the forty-five-year-old pilot was determined to do something that had never been done: bomb Japan.
Piloting the twin-engine B-25 was Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle, a stocky, balding flier often called a daredevil in the press but best described as master of the calculated risk. In his twenty-five years of flying...