70 Years Ago
Things were not going well in the United States and the rest of the free world. Things aren’t very rosy in my opinion right now either, but we’ve got it pretty good right now in comparison to mid April of 1942. It was just over four months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese were still on the offensive in the Pacific, the Germans were still doing well in Russia and in North Africa. The United States was gearing up from a depressed peacetime economy to produce the material needed to win World War II. The country had endured four months featuring confusion, fear, change and a lot of work and the start of sacrifices with no indication that it might pay off in a positive manner.
Until today… April 18th
On this day in 1942, sixteen B-25 bombers took off from the U.S.S. Hornet and bombed targets in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan before flying on to China—and in one case—the Soviet Union. The attack didn’t do much damage other than to Japanese pride, but news of the attack did help in the U.S. Something went right for a change. Yes, all the planes were lost although I wonder if the Russians still have that one B-25 somewhere. Most of the crewmen survived. But something finally went right. More good things were to follow..
Craig Nelson’s book The First Heroes is an excellent read on what went into the events of this day in 1942.