Doolittle Departed

Today’s Poster is in acknowledgement of the death of the the last of the airmen who flew with (then) Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle on the ‘Doolittle Raid’ on Tokyo, Japan, in 1942.


The poster, a very simple design featuring a photo of James Doolittle and a simple exhortative text is most interesting in what it doesn’t say, those viewing it in wartime America being assumed to be familiar with who he was and why they needed to ‘do more’.

The last survivor of the raid was Lieutenant Dick Cole, seen here next to Doolittle in this photo.


Lt. Col. Doolittle with members of his flight crew and Chinese officials in China after the attack. From left to right: Staff Sgt. Fred A. Braemer, bombardier; Staff Sgt. Paul J. Leonard, flight engineer/gunner; Chao Foo Ki, secretary of the Western Chekiang Province Branch Government. 1st Lt. Richard E. Cole, copilot; Doolittle; Henry H. Shen, bank manager; Lt. Henry A. Potter, navigator; General Ho, director of the Branch Government of Western Chekiang Province. [Official U.S. Army Air Forces Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. retrieved from Naval Historical Center. NH97502.]

Much propaganda was created after the raid, some in response to the murders of the captured US crewmen, others built around the bombing, both as ‘payback’ and with full-on wartime racism front and centre.


The raid was a war changing achievement, but the cost to Chinese civilians as well as the Americans was high.

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

Images from online sources various.

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