By coincidence, local newspaper today, April 19, has syndicated AP story: "Their inspirational story 'will live on' " with photo of Thatcher & Cole; last two living survivors. Started Target Tokyo yesterday and just finished today . . . April 19 !!! How spooky/real.
That said, I never intended for the book to be lengthy. In fact, “Target Tokyo” was contracted to be about 100,000 words, which would have resulted in a typical 300-page book. All that changed once I started writing it and the story spiraled out.
The B-25s then flew toward Japan, most in groups of two to four aircraft, before flying single file at wave-top level to avoid detection. The aircraft began arriving over Japan about noon Tokyo time, six hours after launch, and bombed 10 military and industrial targets in Tokyo, two in and one each in , , and . Although some B-25s encountered light antiaircraft fire and a few enemy fighters over Japan, no bomber was shot down. Only the B-25 of Lieutenant Richard O. Joyce received any battle damage, minor hits from antiaircraft fire. B-25 No. 4, piloted by Lieutenant Everett W. Holstrom, jettisoned its bombs before reaching its target when it came under attack by fighters after its gun turret malfunctioned. At least one Japanese fighter was shot down by the gunners of the , piloted by Lieutenant Harold Watson. Two other fighters were shot down by the gunners of the , piloted by Ross Greening. Many military targets were strafed by the bombers' nose gunners. The subterfuge of the simulated gun barrels mounted in the tail cones was described afterwards by Doolittle as effective, in that no airplane was attacked from directly behind.