Original U.S. WWII Doolittle Raiders Signed Photograph with COA

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an autographed photo of the Doolittle Raiders signed by three of them as follows: R.E. Cole, Ed Horton, Henry Potter. Included with the photo is a COA by Casa Leone Limited, Inc. who guarantee authenticity based on a file of correspondence maintained between Casa Leone and the men themselves. The two items along with background information is all nicely framed in a military format that measures W 27 3/4" x L 16.5" x H 3/4".

The Doolittle Raid, also known as the Tokyo Raid, was an air raid on 18 April 1942 by the United States on the Japanese capital Tokyo and other places on Honshu during World War II. It was the first air operation to strike the Japanese archipelago. It demonstrated that the Japanese mainland was vulnerable to American air attack, served as retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor, and provided an important boost to American morale. The raid was planned, led by, and named after Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, later General of the United States Air Force.

Sixteen B-25B Mitchell medium bombers were launched without fighter escort from the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier USS Hornet deep in the Western Pacific Ocean, each with a crew of five men. The plan called for them to bomb military targets in Japan and to continue westward to land in China. The bombing raid killed about 50 people, including civilians, and injured 400. Fifteen aircraft reached China but all crashed, while the 16th landed at Vladivostok in the Soviet Union. Of the 80 crew members, 77 survived the mission. Eight airmen were captured by Japanese Army troops in China; three were later executed. The B-25 that landed in the Soviet Union was confiscated and its crew interned for more than a year before being allowed to "escape" via Soviet-occupied Iran with the help of the NKVD. Fourteen complete crews of five returned to the United States or to American forces, except for one crewman who was killed in action.

The raid caused negligible material damage to Japan, but it had major psychological effects. In the United States, it raised morale. In Japan, it raised doubt about the ability of military leaders to defend the home islands, but the bombing and strafing of civilians also steeled Japanese resolve to gain retribution, and this was exploited for propaganda purposes.

Doolittle initially believed that the loss of all his aircraft would lead to his court-martial, but he instead received the Medal of Honor and was promoted two ranks to brigadier general.
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