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Jimmy Doolittle Releases the Brakes

America's Forgotten Heroes

The Daily Wire


53.9K Ratings

🗓️ 2 July 2021

⏱️ 67 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


On the morning of December 8th, 1941, the vaunted US Pacific fleet lay deep in the mud at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. Americans were stunned, but this was just the beginning, as the Japanese rampaged throughout the Pacific, seemingly unstoppable. The six aircraft carriers used on the attack at Pearl Harbor had been training for years, and their pilots were the best in the world flying bible Zero’s that flew circles around the lumbering US fighters, knocking them down in droves. America needed a victory — any victory, but ideally a bombing raid on the Japanese capital of Tokyo. But Tokyo was well out of range of Army Bombers, and the short range of Navy planes meant risking America’s few precious remaining aircraft carriers. But Franklin Roosevelt wanted to hit Japan, and so the project was handed over to the great celebrity aviator of the day, a 5’4” human dynamo named James Doolittle. Jimmy Doolittle had a history of effortlessly winning every air race he appeared in, and prior to the outbreak of the war he had been the first man to take off, fly, and land exclusive on instruments… instruments he had helped design. There was no better combination of brains, skill and courage in the world, and when he called for volunteers he was absolutely inundated, despite being able to tell the men anything about the mission other than that it would be exceedingly dangerous. After a great many modifications and a great deal of training, Doolittle did what everyone had assumed was impossible: he put huge Army bombers onto an aircraft carrier, and sailed them across the Pacific in the worst weather anyone had ever seen. The plan was to bomb Japan and then land in China, behind the Japanese troops that had been fighting and massacring the Chinese for four years before the attack on Pearl Harbor. When the raid was detected by Japanese ships they were still hundreds of miles short of their launch points, meaning that while they could still hit Japan, none of the aircraft would have the range to make it to safety. Doolittle’s crew of five Americans, and 15 other aircraft, lurched off the deck and staggerer into the air. The raid would prove so embarrassing to the Japanese Navy that they rushed into their crushing defeat at Midway, and the hardships endured by the volunteers on the Doolittle Raid beggars the imagination. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

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A short time ago, an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima and destroyed its


usefulness to the enemy.


The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor.


They have been repaid many times and the end is not yet.


The Japanese words Kido-Butai translates simply as mobile force.


Ten aircraft carriers organized into five divisions of two carriers each.


Kido-Butai was invincible.


That's not high-perfect.


With only three of its five carrier divisions, the fighters, dive bombers, and torpedo planes


of Kido-Butai sank virtually everything afloat at the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor,


Hawaii, in the early morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941.


And Pearl Harbor had just been the beginning.


On December 8, British forces detected a Japanese invasion convoy bound for Malaya and dispatched


the battleship HMS Prince of Wales and the Battle Cruiser HMS repulse to intercept.


Two days later, land-based Japanese aircraft sank both of them, taking 840 men down with




On February 18, British American and Dutch forces sent three cruisers, seven destroyers,


two submarines, and 20 aircraft, to intercept a Paltry Japanese force of two transports


escorted by four destroyers headed for the island of Bali.


By the end of the next day, they'd lost two destroyers sunk and one cruiser damaged.


All six Japanese ships continued on their mission.


Now that same day, February 19, 1942, the first and second carrier divisions of Kido-Butai


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