Why Are Army Bombers on an Aircraft Carrier? | History In A Nutshell Shorts


Here's something you don't see every day: Army bombers on a Navy aircraft carrier? You may have asked that question if you were a sailor on board one of the ships escorting the U.S.S. Hornet in early April 1942. The Hornet was carrying 16 heavily modified B-25 "Mitchell" bombers destined for Japan. Under command of Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle, the Doolittle Raiders were going to perform a feat never before attempted in history at that point: to have land-based bombers take off from an aircraft carrier.

On April 18, 1942, just 132 days after the infamous attack at Pearl Harbor, the Doolittle Raiders made history by successfully attacking Japan's capitol city. While the damage done to Tokyo was minimal, the daring raid boosted American morale and showed the world that challenging the might of imperial Japan was possible. 

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