Thursday, December 08, 2005

Dec 7, 1941 - A Submariner's Response

After the Imperial Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941 the United States was at a loss on how to retaliate. For months the American Navy was on the defensive and reeling from the loss of so many of it's capital ships.

Over four months later on April 18, 1942 the response came in the form of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo.

USS Hornet launch of B-25 for the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

It was an WWI submariner Capt. Francis S. Low (former commander of the S-12) who conceived of the idea to takeoff heavily laden bombers from the deck of an aircraft carrier. Captain Low got the idea a month after Pearl Harbor, when he saw Army bombers perform simulated bomb runs over the outline of a carrier deck painted on a runway. An example of intuition and creative thinking by a submariner.

An Army bomber flown off a Navy carrier conceived by a pig boat sailor and executed three months after the idea is presented, now that's innovative warfighting.

1 comment:

chaoticsynapticactivity said...

Wow! Who'd a thought?

I read Jimmy Doolittle's book a few years back. It's a wonderful read, describing his life in the Army after WWI, thru his days after WWII. Humbly written, he was a great man and leader.

I Could Never Be So Lucky Again.

It's worth your time...