Engines roared on the deck of the U.S. Navy’s Hornet aircraft carrier.
The pilots in the B-25 Bombers steeled their nerves as it came to their turn to make the attempt—knowing that there was a good chance they’d fall into the sea before ever making it into the air. Even if they did make it up off the carrier, they only had enough fuel for a one-way trip. They’d have to try and make it to China and ditch if they had any hope of surviving.
These were Doolittle’s Raiders, a group of Army pilots who volunteered for an ultra-dangerous mission: getting B-25 bombers off an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean without being detected—to then bomb Japan four months after the Pearl Harbor attack. The mission that Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle planned and personally participated in was a long shot, chiefly because the B-25s were NOT built to take off from the short runway of an aircraft carrier, so they had to be retrofitted and only equipped with fuel for—as I noted above—just one way.
Yet they did it. They managed to get the 10-ton beasts off the aircraft carrier and carry out the epic mission—losing just seven of the 80 men along the way.
They pulled off this stunt 75 years ago this week –right as I came across this article. An excerpt:
“There they were, all dressed up in their bomber jackets, projecting American Power, and Showing Resolve, and Establishing Our Strategic Footprint, but they looked like what they were: toy soldiers playing at war. And what war were they playing at? … And that’s the problem, isn’t it? Dress-up war by photo op.”
The author is referring to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence; Trump, who visited the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford last month, and Pence, who visited the DMZ between North and South Korea this last week.
The piece alleges what a waste the President’s recent actions in Syria and Afghanistan were, and how silly and photo-oppy the Vice President’s steely stance towards the North Koreans on the DMZ was.
So, let me get this straight: Barack Obama spent the last eight years apologizing to the world, bowing to foreign leaders, and being photographed looking like he’s heading to a babysitting gig— and the author is perfectly ok sending THAT message to the world?
A world, I might add, that in the last eight years has seen the rise of North Korean aggression, Islamic State terrorism, Iranian nuclear ambitions, Russian aggression … to name a few.
Those bomber jackets, especially Pence’s at the DMZ, sends a message: we’re getting serious.
We’re getting serious about chemical weapons. We’re getting serious about Islamic terror. We’re getting serious about rogue nuclear nations.
Let’s circle back to Doolittle and his amazing raiders for a moment. Today, at 101 years old, Richard Cole is the last of that brave group. The mission that he and the other 79 men carried out didn’t destroy Tokyo, or the Japanese military capabilities entirely. But we knew that going in, and that wasn’t the point. It was the message it sent—both to the Japanese and to the American troops who would follow the bombers later on: they not only retaliated for the attack on Pearl Harbor but, proved to the Japanese and to the world that we could attack mainland Japan. It sent a heck of a message.
Exactly like the 59 Tomahawk missiles and MOAB strike the aforementioned Salon.com author laughed at; exactly like the bomber jackets that sent a far more serious message to the world than the past eight years of capitulation to two-bit dictators and despots.
No, bomber jackets don’t defeat enemies. But it’s a heck of a start.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, M-F, 3-5. ET). She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree