The Doolittle Raid

On April 18, 1942, barely four months after Americans were rocked by the news of the Pearl Harbor attacks, 16 specially modified B-25 bombers flew into history.

Their mission? To surprise the enemy and bomb downtown Tokyo and four other Japanese cities. Manning these planes were 80 brave volunteers from the Army Air Corps. For all intents and purposes, what they set out to accomplish looked like a suicide mission.

They succeeded in taking Japan completely by surprise because they flew these big land-based Army bombers, loaded down with gas and bombs, off the deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, something no one had ever tried before and something the Japanese never expected.

They were the Doolittle Raiders, named for their leader, the daring aviation pioneer, Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle. Hollywood has often told the story of these brave men, but in this gripping episode of “War Stories with Oliver North,” you’ll hear the real story of the Doolittle Tokyo raiders from the men themselves, in their own words.

These are the men who restored the confidence of a shaken nation and changed the course of the Second World War.