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Finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in History. "Like Lauren Hillebrand's Unbroken…Target Tokyo brings to life an indelible era." —Ben Cosgrove, The Daily Beast In December 1941, as American forces tallied the dead at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt gathered with his senior military counselors to plan an ambitious counterstrike against the heart of the Japanese Empire: Tokyo. Four months later, on April 18, 1942, sixteen U.S. Army bombers under the command of daredevil pilot Jimmy Doolittle lifted off from the deck of the USS Hornet on a one-way mission to pummel the enemy’s factories, refineries, and dockyards and then escape to Free China. For Roosevelt, the raid was a propaganda victory, a potent salve to heal a wounded nation. In Japan, outraged over the deaths of innocent civilians—including children—military leaders launched an ill-fated attempt to seize Midway that would turn the tide of the war. But it was the Chinese who suffered the worst, victims of a retaliatory campaign by the Japanese Army that claimed an estimated 250,000 lives and saw families drowned in wells, entire towns burned, and communities devastated by bacteriological warfare. At the center of this incredible story is Doolittle, the son of an Alaskan gold prospector, a former boxer, and brilliant engineer who earned his doctorate from MIT. Other fascinating characters populate this gripping narrative, including Chiang Kai-shek, Lieutenant General Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, and the feisty Vice Admiral William “Bull” Halsey Jr. Here, too, are indelible portraits of the young pilots, navigators, and bombardiers, many of them little more than teenagers, who raised their hands to volunteer for a mission from which few expected to return. Most of the bombers ran out of fuel and crashed. Captured raiders suffered torture and starvation in Japan’s notorious POW camps. Others faced a harrowing escape across China—via boat, rickshaw, and foot—with the Japanese Army in pursuit. Based on scores of never-before-published records drawn from archives across four continents as well as new interviews with survivors, Target Tokyo is World War II history of the highest order: a harrowing adventure story that also serves as a pivotal reexamination of one of America’s most daring military operations.
After Pearl Harbor, he led America’s flight to victory General Doolittle is a giant of the twentieth century. He did it all. As a stunt pilot, he thrilled the world with his aerial acrobatics. As a scientist, he pioneered the development of modern aviation technology. During World War II, he served his country as a fearless and innovative air warrior, organizing and leading the devastating raid against Japan immortalized in the film Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. Now, for the first time, here is his life story — modest, revealing, and candid as only Doolittle himself can tell it. From the Paperback edition.
Famous for leading the Tokyo Raid, America's first strike against Japan in World War II, Jimmy Doolittle led a remarkable life as an American pilot. This firsthand account by his granddaughter reveals an extraordinary individual—a scientist with a doctorate in aeronautical engineering from MIT, an aviation pioneer who was the first to fly across the United States in less than 24 hours and the first to fly “blind” (using only his plane’s instruments), a barnstormer well known for aerobatics, a popular racing pilot who won every major air race at least once, recipient of both the Congressional Medal of Honor and Presidential Medal of Freedom, a four-star general, and commander of both the 8th, 12th and 15th Air Forces. This memoir provides insights into the public and private world of Jimmy Doolittle and his family and sheds light on the drives and motivation of one of America's most influential and ambitious aviators.
The author tells about his part in the bombing of Tokyo on the Doolittle raid of April 18, 1942.
Immediately after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to restore the honor of the United States with a dramatic act of vengeance: a retaliatory bombing raid on Tokyo. On April 18, 1942, eighty brave young men, led by the famous daredevil Jimmy Doolittle, took off from a navy carrier in the mid-Pacific on what everyone regarded as a suicide mission but instead became a resounding American victory and helped turn the tide of the war. The First Heroes is the story of that mission. Meticulously researched and based on interviews with twenty of the surviving Tokyo Raiders, this is a true account that almost defies belief, a tremendous human drama of great personal courage, and a powerful reminder that ordinary people, when faced with extraordinary circumstances, can rise to the challenge of history.

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