My Witness: James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle
My Name: Hyo Jae
Background: I was born on December 14th, 1896 in Alameda, California. I studied in the University of California, Berkeley and took a leave of absence in October 1917 to enlist in the Signal Corps Reserve. I was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Signal Officers Reserve Corps of the U.S. Army on March 11th, 1918.
Four months after Japan's bombardment of Pearl Harbor, I was summoned by General Henry H. Arnold to lead the Tokyo Raids, now known as the Doolittle Raids. It was the first air raid to strike the Japanese home islands. On April 18th of 1942, 16 Army B-25 bombers were loaded on the USS Hornet to drop 4 bombs each on Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Kobe, and Nagoya, striking military and industrial targets. Most of our planes were able to reach and bomb their primary targets.
After the raids, we had planned to land in areas controlled by Chinese Nationalists. However, one crew landed in Vladivostok and were interned by the Soviets. 8 of our brave men were captured, tortured, then executed by the Japanese.
Connection to this Case: I strongly believe that all American air-raids were led to defend the people of the democratic U.S. and to protect the world from Japanese aggression.
Your Testimony: The Doolittle Raids were planned to cripple Japan's military and industrial facilities. All pilots were given selected objectives such as steel works, oil refineries, oil tank farms, ammunition dumps, dock yards, munitions plants, and airplane factories. We aimed to bring confusion and retardation of production of war materials. We were strictly instructed to avoid non-military targets.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in 2,403 American casualties, including 68 civilians. This brutal attack killed, not only the lives of our fellow Americans, but it also killed our hope and morale. The Doolittle Raids were planned to warn the Japanese that their homeland was vulnerable to air attacks and that we, Americans will fight to defend our citizens.
After the Doolittle Raids, the Japanese ruthlessly slaughtered more than 250,000 Chinese civilians, living in areas suspected of aiding us. This is more than the casualties of the two atomic bombs combined. Inhumane chemical warfare attacks were undertaken on populated areas and the entire network of airfields in China was destroyed. We had to protect the world from Japanese aggression.
Doolittle, James H. "Individual Report on Tokyo Raid." Letter to The Commanding General of the Army Air Forces. 5 June 1942.
Origin- The "Individual Report on Tokyo Raid" was written on June 5th, 1942 by James H. Doolittle, myself.
Purpose- It was written to inform the commanding general of the Army Air Forces about the aerial bombing of Japan. I wanted to report the Doolittle Raids, based on what I've seen and experienced.
Value of this source in preparation of my testimony- My individual report on the Tokyo Raids was valuable because I was able to recall the raids by reading through it. I wrote the report 2 months after the raid so it provided an accurate summary of what I've seen and experienced. It's a first-hand account. Also, it strengthened my testimony because I had recorded that we were strictly instructed to avoid non-military targets. The Doolittle Raids were planned to cripple Japan's industrial and military facilities, not to kill innocent civilians.
Limitations of this source in preparation of my testimony- It is my individual report on the Doolittle Raids. It only states the preparation and the flight process that I took part in. Also, everything was written in my perspective.
Journal Staff. "Priest Here Saw Japs Ravage, Burn, Kill After Doolittle's Raid." The Milwaukee Journal [Wisconsin] 26 May 1943: 23. Print.
Origin- "Priest Here Saw Japs Ravage, Burn, Kill After Doolittle's Raid" is a newspaper article of The Milwaukee Journal, written on May 26th, 1943 by the journal staff.
Purpose- A newspaper article's purpose is to inform readers about events, based on facts and evidence. This particular article was written to inform the citizens of U.S. about the aftermath of the Doolittle Raids. The journal staff wrote this article to share the Japan's brutal atrocities of Linchwan, a city in China, based on an interview with Father Herbert Vandenberg.
Value of this source in preparation of my testimony- The newspaper article, "Priest Here Saw Japs Ravage, Burn, Kill After Doolittle's Raid", includes a first-hand account of Japan's mass killings of Chinese civilians. Father Herbert Vandenberg, an American priest who was in Linchwan to help orphans, recalls the horrific, ruthless, and inhumane murders of innocent civilians in China. Through this article, I was able to see that I wasn't the only one who thought the war had to be ended to stop "the most savage beasts on Earth". This article is valuable because it provides the view of an American who has seen the Japanese atrocities through his own eyes. Also, because of its purpose to inform civilians, it is written based on what had really happened.
Limitations of this source in preparation of my testimony- The article was written in Father Herbert Vandenberg's perspectives so it may limited. Also, it might be exaggerated due to his deep, spiritual pain after witnessing the horrific crimes of the Japanese soldiers.