Sunday, February 1, 2015

I just read that we now have only 3 Doolittle Raiders left

because flight engineer/gunner, 94,  Ed Saylor just died.

The Doolittle Raid was a retaliatory attack on Japan in April of 1942. It was put together in record time and was executed in a way that was supposed to be impossible. They flew B-25 medium bombers off of the deck of USS Hornet.

All 80 of the men in it were volunteers and were told two things. First, it was a very hazardous mission and secondly that it was being led by Jimmy Doolittle.  Doolittle had been one hell of a civilian aviator and had won numerous flying trophies.

When they heard Doolittle was leading something they flocked to volunteer.

I won't write up the raid, if you want the details just Google it and go to Wikipedia. They had a number of problems, overcame them even though they knew before they flew off Hornet that they were likely to not return. Fifteen of the 16 airplanes either crashed or ditched. One landed ijn Russia. Casualties were 3 dead, and 8 POWs, 4 of whom died in captivity.

Incidentally, I read somewhere that at the last minute FDR ordered Doolittle to pass leadership of the raid onto his second in command and return stateside. Doolittle disobeyed the order and led from the front. 

Anyway, there are now only three Doolittle Raiders left.


It should be carefully noted that after the raid, FDR protected Hornet and her crew from Japanese retaliation by announcing that the planes had taken off from 'Our secret base in Shangri-La'.

This is very much unlike our present administration where Vice President Joe Biden let the cat out of the bag that it was SEAL Team Six that whacked Bin Laden and got a number of our people killed. 

Incidentally I know that SEAL Team Six was renamed back in '87 but the American public still refers to them that way. Ask anyone who DEVGRU is and you'll draw a blank. Ask them about SEAL Team Six and they know who you're referring to.

It is a damned shame that our present leadership doesn't respect the services enough to keep their mouths shut and protect them.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY


  1. I read a great book on the raid a couple of years ago called "The First Heroes". At the beginning of the book he lists the crew members of each plane then goes on to explain what happened to each man. It's a good read but extremely sad in parts. I'm often upset by the attention the War in Europe gets. The soldiers in the Pacific are too often left out.

  2. I lost a cousin on Iwo.

    A lot of the Pacific is unheralded. Some of the best reading comes out of it. Eugene Sledge wrote 2 books about his service. The second, China Marine is about his few months in China after cessation of hostilities and is just as interesting as his wartime stories.