PUNTA GORDA — On April 18, 1942, 16 medium bombers slowly lifted off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet and headed for Japan.
Led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, their mission was to bomb military targets and to demonstrate to the world that Japan was vulnerable from the air. It also provided a much-needed boost to American morale early in the war, just four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
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