Artist Jay Ashurst has created an authentic print of the lead aircraft that took part in the first bombing of Japan in World War II. On April 18, 1942, under the command of Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle and his fellow crew members, Dick Cole, Co-Pilot, Hank Potter, Navigator, Fred Braemer, Bombardier, and Paul Leonard, Crew Chief/Gunner, a small force of 16 B-25 medium bombers manned by 80 volunteer crew members was launched from the heaving deck of the carrier U.S.S. Hornet in extremely rough 40' high seas. The crews knew that by having to launch 250 miles earlier than planned, they would not have enough fuel to fly on to China. This left them faced with having to ditch in the China Sea after successfully completing the first bombing raid on Japan. Enroute to China they were blessed with a tailwind that the natives call a "Kamikazi Wind" that blows from east to west. All aircraft, except one that went to Russia, made it to China where, due to zero-zero weather and no fuel, all were forced to ditch or bail out. Of the 80 men, eight were captured, three were executed, one died in prison and one died bailing out. Damage to targets was superficial, but the boost to American morale in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor was immeasurable. Most of the survivors were able to fly and fight again. Nine were killed in action and four became German prisoners. All were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Jimmy Doolittle was promoted to Brigadier General and awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Aviation Autographs is pleased and honored that Col. Dick Cole and the Doolittle Raider organization chose us as the sole distributor for this print. It was General Doolittle's wish that no "Raider" ever profit from their service. They have honored his direction as evidenced by their generous funding of the "Raider" scholarship fund which receives the proceeds from the sale of this print.Signed by: Dick Cole, Saylor and David Thatcher.
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