75 years ago: After training in Oregon, Doolittle Raiders attacked Tokyo

A B-25 Mitchell takes off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet for the Doolittle Raid of Japan, April 18, 1942. Photo courtesy of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio (via the Department of Defense)

SALEM, Ore. - Seventy five years ago, U.S. Army Air Corps Brig. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle led 16 U.S. B-25 bombers on a raid on Tokyo - barely 4 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Doolittle Raiders - 3 were Oregonians; all of them trained near Pendleton, Oregon - mounted their attack April 18, 1942.

A 20-foot Wall of Honor depicting each of the Doolittle Raiders was on display Tuesday at the Oregon State Capitol.

The top-secret mission did little damage, but was a tremendous psychological blow to the Japanese, historian and author Col. C.V. Glines told The Associated Press in 2011.

"The Japanese people had been told their homeland was safe, that nobody could attack it," said Glines, who will be part of a panel at the conference. "And it was a dramatic response that did a lot to help this country recover from the Pearl Harbor attack."

Fifteen of the planes crashed. One landed in the Soviet Union.

But casualties were relatively light: Three died in action, and eight were taken prisoners of war. Three of those prisoners were executed and one died of disease.


The Pendleton Air Museum plans an event April 29 commemorating the raid.

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