THE DOOLITTLE RAID
The First Strike Against Japan, April 1942
Just over two years ago, in January 2018, I was stood on Runway Able at the former U.S. airbase of North Field on the tiny Pacific island of Tinian. Nearby are two deep pits – one for Fat Man and one for Little Boy – the two nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The two B-29 Superfortresses, Enola Gay and Bockscar, that carried the bombs which brought the Second World War to a crushing conclusion, took off from Runway Able. Standing there was truly memorable.
The storey of the dropping of the atomic bombs is well known, of course. But when I began reading about the bombing of Japan prior to my visit to Tinian, I came across an event I had never heard of before – the Doolittle Raid.