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This Week In Texas History

All available participants in the recent “Doolittle Raid” on Japan, including half of the dozen native Texans, were honored at the White House on Jun. 25, 1941.

Nothing better describes American morale in the weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor than that old West Texas saying “lower than a snake’s belly.” No one was more acutely aware of that fact than President Franklin Roosevelt, who insisted immediate retaliatory action be taken.

Jimmy Doolittle, a 45 year old lieutenant colonel, devised a plan that would have been dismissed out of hand under any other circumstances. If the navy could get him close enough to the Japanese Home Islands, he would launch 16 B-25’s from the deck of an aircraft carrier on a one-way bombing mission of Tokyo and nearby cities.



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