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Turning Point – The Doolittle Raid

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Ensign Austin Merrill participated in both the Doolittle Raid and the Battle of Midway as a Dauntless dive-bomber pilot. Merrill's identification. Gift of Austin Merrill, The National WWII Museum Inc.

On April 18, 1942, 16 Army Air Force B-25 medium bombers launched from the pitching deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8). Led by the already legendary Lt. Col. James Doolittle, the small group of B-25s skimmed the waves towards their target — Tokyo. Doolittle’s all-volunteer force was on a one-way mission to exact a small taste of vengeance for the attack on Pearl Harbor four-and-a-half months earlier.

Seventy years later, The National WWII Museum explores the critical time in the Pacific war when victory was anything but certain. Turning Point: The Doolittle Raid, Battle of Coral Sea and Battle of Midway runs from April 18 – July 8, 2012.

Find out more about the Doolittle Raid.

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