November 9, 2013 A Vintage like No Other

Today in History

On November 9, 2013, there occurred a gathering of four. A tribute to fallen heroes. These four were themselves heroes, and worthy of tribute. This was to be their last such gathering.

This story begins on April 18, 1942, when a flight of sixteen Mitchell B25 medium bombers launched from the deck of the carrier, USS Hornet.   It was a retaliatory raid on Imperial Japan, planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James “Jimmy” Doolittle of the United States Army Air Force.  The raid was payback for the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, seven months earlier.  A demonstration that the Japanese home islands, were not immune from destruction.

Launching such massive aircraft from the decks of a carrier had never been attempted. There were no means of bringing them back.  With extra gas tanks installed and machine guns removed to save the weight, this was to be a one-way mission, into…

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