The First Heroes

The First Heroes

Book - 2002
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Penguin Putnam
The Doolittle Raiders, as they became known, were a squadron of eighty scarcely trained young men led by the famous daredevil aviator Jimmy Doolittle. Their mission-the daring World War II bombing raid of Tokyo and other cities in April 1942-was successful until Japanese spies forced most of the squadron to crash-land in enemy-occupied China, where pilots were ferried underground across the country to safety. One plane landed in the Soviet port of Vladivostok, where the crew was eventually smuggled out of the country through Persia. Others were captured by the Japanese, confined to years of imprisonment and torture. The fact that 90 percent of the men involved came home alive was little short of a miracle.

Extensively researched, including interviews with twenty of the twenty-seven remaining survivors, The First Heroes vividly recreates America's first great victory of World War II. Craig Nelson follows the Doolittle Raiders from their secret training on a Florida airfield to their tense days in transit across the Pacific to the bombing itself and finally to their courageous accounts of survival against astonishing odds. This story of America's striking back at its enemies after a vicious surprise attack will resonate widely with the general public today and is sure to appeal to all readers of Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation.

Baker & Taylor
A nail-biting account of the Doolittle Raid against Tokyo explores this seminal event in the early stages of World War II, and discusses its ramifications in terms of the Allied war effort, and profiles the men who took part in the raid. 40,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Immediately after Japan's December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt sought to restore the honor of the United States with a dramatic act of vengeance: a retaliatory bombing raid on Tokyo itself. In those early days of World War II, the very notion of an attempt by America - which was ill prepared for any sort of warfare - to make a direct assault on Asia's military superpower was almost inconceivable. But FDR was not to be dissuaded, and at his bidding a squadron of scarcely trained army fliers, led by the famous daredevil Jimmy Doolittle, set forth on what everyone regarded as a suicide mission.
The First Heroes is the story of this extraordinary mission, one of the most daring episodes of World War II. Although the Doolittle Raid became the basis for the classic 1944 film Thirty Seconds over Tokyo, this moment in history is surprisingly unfamiliar today. To give these heroes their due, Craig Nelson interviewed twenty of the surviving participants and researched more than forty thousand pages of books, periodicals, and archival documents. The fact that 90 percent of these men came home alive was little short of a miracle, as was the way their efforts revived the morale of the nation and helped convince the world that the Allies might eventually triumph.

Baker
& Taylor

An account of the Doolittle Raid against Tokyo explores this seminal event in the early stages of World War II, discusses its ramifications in terms of the Allied war effort, and profiles the men who took part in the raid.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2002
ISBN: 9780670030873
0670030872
Branch Call Number: 940.5429 DOOLI NELSO
Characteristics: 430 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm

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