Pearl Harbor and the Doolittle Raid
"Yesterday, December 7th, 1941-a date which will live in infamy-the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Naval and Air forces of the Empire of Japan (Roosevelt)." Those were the famous words spoken by Franklin Roosevelt the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Roosevelt went on to say that because Japan and Hawaii are such a large distance apart, the attack was deliberately planned many weeks age. He also stated that during that time of planning, the Japanese were deceiving the U.S. by giving "false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace (Roosevelt)." Directly after the bombing, Admiral Harold R. Stark declared war on Japan by issuing the orders to "execute unrestricted air and submarine warfare against Japan (Van Der Vat 151)." On January, a month after the attack, Admiral King and General Arnold decide to give a "retaliatory blow against the mainland of Japan (Greening)." Their decision was to combine the forces of the Army and the Air force and bomb the main industrial Centers of Japan with Army B-25 Bombers. They were to fly off Navy aircraft carriers within striking distance of Japan. The main questions after this decision was, who is going to lead this attack (Greening)? Lt. Col. James Jimmy' Doolittle was picked to lead. Jimmy was an experienced aviator and a well-decorated war hero (Mason 85).
Thesis: Though the mission was developed as a diversion that would boost American and allied morale, the Doolittle Raid also generated strategic benefits that far outweighed its limited goals. Jimmy Doolittle was born on December 14th, 1896. From a young age, he enjoyed flying and toying around with airplanes. This is why he was chosen to be the leader, he was brave, experienced and knew every part of an airplane (General James). To make this attack on Japan successful, it would