The mission would not only be a dangerous for the Doolittle Raiders, but it was also a major strategic gamble for the United States Navy. With only four carriers in the Pacific Ocean, 50% of that force were committed to the Tokyo Raid - the USS Hornet, from which the 16 bombers were launched and sailing from Hawaii, the USS Enterprise, as a protective escort.
Little of that was apparent as the Hornet and the other ships of Task Force 18 emerged from the fog and into the sunlight on the morning of April 2, 1942. 5000-miles beyond the Golden Gate lay the hostile shores of Japan. A cover story of the Hornet ferrying bombers to Hawaii had been circulated. Thousands had the opportunity to watch the carrier and the other ships depart with little idea of the Task Force’s true destination.
Doolittle had the Navy load sixteen B-25’s aboard the USS Hornet. His intention was to launch one when they were off the California coast as proof to his men that it could be done. The other fifteen would be used in the attack on Japan. The Navy’s takeoff training supervisor, Lt. Henry Miller, had such unflagging confidence in the ability of the planes to safely leave the deck of the ship that he convinced Doolittle and Captain Mitscher to save the extra plane for the raid itself.
You will own, with either the Fine Art Giclée Canvas or Fine Art Giclée Paper edition, a true and authentic historical document. No other artist has developed the deep relationship that Phillips has with the Doolittle Raiders. “Remembering the sacrifices of brave men and women helps us become more aware of how we should view this great country and the freedoms we so often take for granted,” says Bill Phillips. “This art helps us to keep these memories alive and gives us something to pass on to the next generation.”