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The Doolittle Raid

            After the attack on Pearl Harbor the US was in shock and unsure of how to respond. They attacked two islands in the Pacific Ocean previous to the Doolittle Raid, the Wake and Marcus islands under the command of Admiral Halsey. Neither had the morale boost that they needed or gained in the Doolittle Raid. The Japanese Empire had swallowed up huge amounts of territory in the Pacific, and the US was constantly being pushed back.
             A man named Francis Lowe in Admiral Kings personnel cabinet paid a visit to Norfolk, Virginia during the second week in January, which inspired him to come up with the idea for the mission and the idea to use naval planes instead of army planes in order to attack Japan. He gave the idea or plan to Admiral King, who refined it and gave it to General Arnold. The two men decided that Lieutenant Colonel James (Jimmy) Doolittle would be a good choice for mission coordinator, and they gave him control of the mission to put it together. .
             The test flights for this mission consisted of Lieutenants John Fitzgerald, and James McCarthy taking off using B-25's from the carrier Hornet, under the supervision of Commanding officer Mitscher and Francis Lowe. This took place during early February, they also found out from these tests that a medium B-25 bomber loaded with a ton of bombs and extra fuel could travel 2,000 miles and take off in 500 feet of runway. They also found out that the planes had to be modified in order to land correctly. First the belly turret was removed, and a 60-gallon tank replaced the original smaller fuel tank. The plane was then loaded with 5-gallon refill tanks. The rear guns were removed and replaced with black painted broomsticks not to fight but to deter enemy fire at them.
             During this mission Doolittle was in charge of training the pilots that would actually be flying the mission with him and Captain Donald Duncan trained the navy crews that would be taking these men to bomb Tokyo.

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