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Doolittle Raid Timeline

  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and starts military operations against the United States, Britain, and the Netherlands.
  • Japanese forces invade the Philippines and Malaya.

    Japanese forces invade the Philippines and Malaya.
  • Guam, Makin, and Tarawa are invaded and occupied by Japan.

  • Germany and Italy declare war on the United States.

  • Roosevelt calls for a bombing raid against Japan

  • Wake Islad falls to the Japanese after US Marines put up a valiant defense

  • Japan takes Hong Kong

  • Japanese Army units invade Burma, and later move north to the Chinese border and threaten India.

  • Manila falls as US forces retreat south towards Corregidor

  • Duncan briefs Arnold on the initial plan. Arnold selects Doolitlle to organize, train, and equip aircrews for the Tokyo attack

  • Target selection begins for the operation

  • Period: to

    Demonstration test of a B-25 bomber launch off the aircraft carrier Hornet succeeds.

  • British forces surrender in Singapore.

  • Japanese naval forces conduct operations in the Indian Ocean

  • Washington requests Stillwell to ask Chiang Kai-shek for permission to use airfields and to gather ground crews to support the raid.

  • Nimitz is briefed on the raid; the decision is made to add another carrier to support the attack. halsey is selected for thetask.

  • Doolittle and crews complete Eglin training

  • All aircraft and crew arrive at Sacramento Air Depot, CA for final aircraft checks.

  • Doolittle and Halsey meet in San Francisco for final co-ordination.

  • Aircraft and crew load on board the Hornet at Naval Air Station Alameda.

  • TF-18 leaves San Francisco Bay for mission

  • TF-16 departs Pearl harbor to rendezvous with TF-18

  • Japanese radio analysts claims to have received signals from TF-16.

  • TF-16 and TF-18 rendezvous and move towards Japan.

  • CHinese airfields are ready with fuel and support to receive the Doolitlle raiders.

  • Hornet and Enterprise, along with the cruisers, separeate from TF-16. They speed towards thei intended launch point.

  • 0310

    Surface radar contact is made by Enterprise crew members with Japanese picket ships.
  • 0508

    Enterprise launches the first combat air patrols.
  • 0522

    Search planes are sent out; one crew believes they have seen a ship and that the Japanese have spotted them
  • 0630

    Nitto Maru reports to IJN HQ in Tokyo that it has seen three carriers. Coincidently, Japanese launch routine patrol aircraft.
  • 0744

    Hornet crew members, on watch, spot the Nitto Maru.
  • 0750

    The USS Nashville attacks the Nitto Maru and eventually sinks her.
  • 0800

    Halsey decides to launch the raid early since he beleieves TF-16 is now known to the Japanese.
  • 0803

    Hornet increases speed and turns into the wind for launch.
  • 0820

    Doolittle's plae is the first off the Hornet to bomb Tokyo.
  • 0921

    The last B-25 leaves the Hornet, TF-16 immediately plots coruse for return to Pearly Harbor.
  • 1200

    Japanese obsevers spot bombersflying over MIto, and repot their findings.
  • 1230

    Doolittle attacks his first target in the Tokyo area.
  • 1245

    The IJN's 26th Air Flotilla is ordered to search and destroy any attacking bombers.
  • 1424

    USS Nashville sinks a patrol boat. Enterprise aircraft sink another.
  • 1445

    First news of Tokyo bombing raid is broadcast via radio transmission.
  • Period: to

    Doolittle Raid

  • Doolittle promoted to rank of Brigadier General

    Doolittle promoted to rank of Brigadier General
  • Roosevelt publicly admits the raid took place, claiming the planes were launched from their secret base at "Shangri-La."

  • Doolittle crew members are all awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

  • TF-16 returns safely to Pearl Harbor, with no damage or losses to ships.

  • A few Doolittle crew members arrivein Chungking.

  • Doolittle arrives in Chungking.

  • Yamamoto's plan to attack Midway Island and draw the American Pacific Fleet into a decisive battle is approved.

  • Period: to

    The Battle of Midwayends in a decisive American victory. IJN carrier supremacy is over.

  • The Japanesse try the two captured B-25 crews for war crimes.

  • Hallmark, Farrow, and Spatz are executed by the Japanese. Others are sentenced to life imprisonment.