Military buffs snap to attention for this stirring display. Paying tribute to the perilous 1942 “Doolittle Raid”, this well-conceived ensemble piece incorporates (16) mission volunteer signed cuts, (7) photographs and (3) engraved title plates, all professionally matted in a color coordinated 27x39 frame with mounting wire attached. Signatures show desirable (average “9-10”) strength, with many accompanied by extensive pertinent inscriptions. Key signers are pilots: J.H. Doolittle, B. Bower, E. McElroy. Full photo LOA from JSA.
All components of this piece range from excellent to like-new in condition, fully ready for display. The complete list of autographs as they appear top to bottom, left right is as follows: left rank: William L. Birch, R.E. Cole (Doolittle’s co-pilot), Horace Crouch, Charles J. Ozuk, Jacob DeShazer, Nolan A. Herndon, Chase J. Nielsen; center rank: J.H. Doolittle, Clayton J. Campbell; right rank: Tom Griffen, Edgar E. McElroy, Robert White, Edward Saylor, David J. Thatcher, Bill Bower, Frank A. Kappeler.
Providing Pearl Harbor payback Lt. Colonel Jimmy Doolittle (d.1993) led a squadron of sixteen bomber planes from the carrier USS Hornet in a 4/18/42 attack on the Japanese mainland known as the “Doolittle Raid”. Considered a major success, this first attack on the Japanese mainland provided a tremendous morale boost to American and Allied forces stationed in the Pacific Theater, while also lifting spirits in the Homeland. The all-volunteer members of this historic mission were forced to bailout over China or crash land in the sea as they were running out of fuel by the time they were done their attack. Eleven of these eighty brave men died or were captured as a result, two drowned when they crashed into the sea, one fell off a cliff after bailing out over China, one died of poor treatment in captivity, three were executed and four were liberated in 1945. Of the sixty-nine that eluded capture and death, twelve died in later military actions in various WWII theaters. Additionally ten-thousand Chinese were reportedly killed by Japanese forces during the search for “Doolittle’s Raiders”.
Promoted after the mission to the rank of Brigadier General, Doolittle also received the Medal of Honor, his citation reads as follows: “For conspicuous leadership above the call of duty, involving personal valor and intrepidity at an extreme hazard to life. With the apparent certainty of being forced to land in enemy territory or to perish at sea, Gen. Doolittle personally led a squadron of Army bombers, manned by volunteer crews, in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland.”