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B-25 Doolittle Raider 1/41 Signed By Richard Cole
B-25 Doolittle Raider 1/41 Signed By Richard Cole
B-25 Doolittle Raider 1/41 Signed By Richard Cole
B-25 Doolittle Raider 1/41 Signed By Richard Cole

All Things Aviation

B-25 Doolittle Raider 1/41 Signed By Richard Cole

$319.95

B-25 Doolittle Raider 1/41 Signed By Richard Cole Scale: 1/41 scale model Wing Span: 19.75 inches Length: 17 inches The Doolittle Raid, also known as the Tokyo Raid, was an air raid on 18 April 1942 by the United States on the Japanese capital Tokyo and other places on Honshu during World War II. It was the first air operation to strike the Japanese archipelago. It demonstrated that the Japanese mainland was vulnerable to American air attack, served as retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor, and provided an important boost to American morale. The raid was planned, led by, and named after Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, later General of the United States Army Air Forces. Sixteen B-25B Mitchell medium bombers were launched without fighter escort from the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier USS Hornet deep in the Western Pacific Ocean, each with a crew of five men. The plan called for them to bomb military targets in Japan and to continue westward to land in China. The bombing raid killed about 50 people, including civilians, and injured 400. Fifteen aircraft reached China but all crashed, while the 16th landed at Vladivostok in the Soviet Union. Of the 80 crew members, 77 survived the mission. Eight airmen were captured by Japanese Army in China; three were later executed. The B-25 that landed in the Soviet Union was confiscated and its crew interned for more than a year before being allowed to "escape" via Soviet-occupied Iran with the help of the NKVD. Fourteen complete crews of five returned to the United States or to American forces, except for one crewman who was killed in action.[4][5] The raid caused negligible material damage to Japan, but it had major psychological effects. In the United States, it raised morale. In Japan, it raised doubt about the ability of military leaders to defend the home islands, but the bombing and strafing of civilians also steeled Japanese resolve to gain retribution, and this was exploited for propaganda purposes.[6] It also pushed forward Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's plans to attack Midway Island in the Central Pacific, an attack that turned into a decisive defeat of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) by the U.S. Navy in the Battle of Midway. The consequences were most severely felt in China, where Japanese reprisals caused the deaths of 250,000 civilians and 70,000 soldiers.[6] Doolittle initially believed that the loss of all his aircraft would lead to his court-martial, but he instead received the Medal of Honor and was promoted two ranks to brigadier general. Background President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a meeting at the White House on 21 December 1941 and said that Japan should be bombed as soon as possible to boost public morale after Pearl Harbor.[7] Doolittle recounted in his autobiography that the raid was intended to bolster American morale and to cause the Japanese to begin doubting their leadership. "An attack on the Japanese homeland would cause confusion in the minds of the Japanese people and sow doubt about the reliability of their leaders.… Americans badly needed a morale boost."[8] Crew No. 1 in front of B-25#40-2344 on the deck of Hornet, 18 April 1942. From left to right: (front row) Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, pilot; Lt. Richard E. Cole, copilot; (back row) Lt. Henry A. Potter, navigator; SSgt. Fred A. Braemer, bombardier; SSgt. Paul J. Leonard, flight engineer/gunner. The concept for the attack came from Navy Captain Francis S. Low, Assistant Chief of Staff for antisubmarine warfare. He reported to Admiral Ernest J. King on 10 January 1942 that he thought that twin-engined Army bombers could be launched from an aircraft carrier, after observing several at Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field in Norfolk, Virginia, where the runway was painted with the outline of a carrier deck for landing practice.[9] Doolittle was a famous military test pilot, civilian aviator, and aeronautical engineer before the war. The aircraft to be used would need a cruising range of 2,400 nautical miles (4,400 km) with a 2,000-pound (910 kg) bomb load, so Doolittle selected the B-25B Mitchell to carry out the mission. The range of the Mitchell was about 1,300 miles, so the bombers had to be modified to hold nearly twice the normal fuel reserves. Doolittle also considered the Martin B-26 Marauder, Douglas B-18 Bolo, and Douglas B-23 Dragon,[10] but the B-26 had questionable takeoff characteristics from a carrier deck and the B-23's wingspan was nearly 50-percent greater than the B-25's, reducing the number that could be taken aboard a carrier and posing risks to the ship's superstructure. The B-18 was one of the final two types that Doolittle considered, and he rejected it for the same reason.[11] The B-25 had yet to see combat,[Note 1][12] but tests indicated that it could fulfill the mission's requirements. Doolittle's first report on the plan suggested that the bombers might land in Vladivostok, shortening the flight by 600 nautical miles (1,100 km) on the basis of turning over the B-25s as Lend-Lease.[13] Negotiations with the Soviet Union were fruitless for permission to land because it had signed a neutrality pact with Japan in April 1941.[14] China's Chiang Kai-shek agreed to the landing sites in China despite the concern of Japanese reprisals. Five possible airfields were selected. These sites would serve as refueling stops, allowing the crews to fly to Chungking.[15] Bombers attacking defended targets often relied on a fighter escort to defend them from enemy fighters, but accompanying fighters were not possible. Preparation Lieutenant Colonel Doolittle wires a Japanese medal to a bomb, for "return" to its originators. When planning indicated that the B-25 was the aircraft that best met all of the requirements of the mission, two were loaded aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet at Norfolk, Virginia, and were flown off the deck without difficulty on 3 February 1942.[16] The raid was immediately approved and the 17th Bomb Group (Medium) was chosen to provide the pool of crews from which volunteers would be recruited. The 17th BG had been the first group to receive B-25s, with all four of its squadrons equipped with the bomber by September 1941. The 17th not only was the first medium bomb group of the Army Air Corps, but in early 1942, also had the most experienced B-25 crews. Its first assignment following the entry of the United States into the war was to the U.S. Eighth Air Force.[17] The 17th BG, then flying antisubmarine patrols from Pendleton, Oregon, was immediately moved cross-country to Columbia Army Air Base at West Columbia, South Carolina, ostensibly to fly similar patrols off the east coast of the United States, but in actuality to prepare for the mission against Japan. The group officially transferred effective 9 February 1942 to Columbia, where its combat crews were offered the opportunity to volunteer for an "extremely hazardous", but unspecified mission. On 19 February, the group was detached from the Eighth Air Force and officially assigned to III Bomber Command.[18] Initial planning called for 20 aircraft to fly the mission,[19] and 24 of the group's B-25B Mitchell bombers were diverted to the Mid-Continent Airlines modification center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With support provided by two senior airline managers, Wold-Chamberlain Field's maintenance hangar was the first modification center to become operational. From nearby Fort Snelling, the 710th Military Police Battalion provided tight security around this hangar. B-25B aircraft modifications included the following: Removal of the lower gun turret. Installation of de-icers and anti-icers. Mounting of steel blast plates on the fuselage around the upper turret. Removal of the liaison radio set to save weight. Installation of a 160-gallon collapsible neoprene auxiliary fuel tank, fixed to the top of the bomb bay, and installation of support mounts for additional fuel cells in the bomb bay, crawlway, and lower turret area, to increase fuel capacity from 646 to 1,141 U.S. gallons (538 to 950 imperial gallons, or 2,445 to 4,319 L). Installation of mock gun barrels in the tail cone. Replacement of the Norden bombsight with a makeshift aiming sight devised by pilot Capt. C. Ross Greening dubbed the "Mark Twain". The materials for this bombsight cost only 20 cents.[17] Two bombers also had cameras mounted to record the results of the bombing.[14] The 24 crews were selected and picked up the modified bombers in Minneapolis and flew them to Eglin Field, Florida, beginning 1 March 1942. There, the crews received concentrated training for three weeks in simulated carrier deck takeoffs, low-level and night flying, low-altitude bombing, and over-water navigation, operating primarily out of Eglin Auxiliary Field #1, a more secluded site. Lieutenant Henry L. Miller, a U.S. Navy flight instructor from nearby Naval Air Station Pensacola, supervised their takeoff training and accompanied the crews to the launch. For his efforts, Miller is considered an honorary member of the Raider group.[20] Doolittle stated in his after-action report that the crews reached a "safely operational" level of training, despite several days when flying was not possible because of rain and fog. One aircraft was written off in a landing accident on 10 March[21][22] and another was heavily damaged in a takeoff accident on 23 March,[21][22] while a third was removed from the mission because of a nose wheel shimmy that could not be repaired in time.[14] On 25 March 1942, the remaining 22 B-25s took off from Eglin for McClellan Field, California. They arrived two days later at the Sacramento Air Depot for inspection and final modifications. A total of 16 B-25s were flown to NAS Alameda, California on 31 March. Fifteen made up the mission force and the 16th, by last-minute agreement with the Navy, was loaded so that it could be launched shortly after departure from San Francisco to demonstrate to the Army pilots that there was sufficient deck space for a safe takeoff. Instead, that bomber was made part of the mission force.[Note 2][24]

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B-25 Doolittle Raider 1/41 Signed By Richard Cole

B-25 Doolittle Raider 1/41 Signed By Richard Cole

$319.95