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19 April 2012

18 April 1942: daffodils & bombers

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Sat 18. Very mild, hazy, overecast, calm. Did shopping locally including buying some daffodils from man in the strreet. Then to Wimbledon Common to fly the 37 ins model with good results. Came home and put wheels on small spar model which is now ready for trial.

Army Air Forces B-25B bomber awaits the take-off signal on the flight deck of USS Hornet (CV-8), as the raid is launched, 18 April 1942. Flight Deck Officer holds launch flag at right; the white stripes painted on the flight deck guide the pilot's alignment of nose and port-side wheels. Copyright:  U.S. Navy, National Archives collection
On this day: first of the 'Doolittle Raids' - 16 US B-52 Mitchell bombers - very lightly armed in order to give them range - take off from USS Hornet under command of Lieutenant Colonel James 'Jimmy' Doolittle to execute first raids on Tokyo, 600 miles away. Little damage done, but effect on morale and Japanese defensive strategic decisions considerable. In the photo of Doolittle's crew of 18 April 1942, he is second from left. (Copyright: US Air Force photo.)
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