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Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
(1943)
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Author: Ted W. Lawson
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 221
Series: Landmark
ISBN: 9780965509879
Genre: Antiquarian, Rare & Collectable
Format: Hardback

Ted W. Lawson's classic Thirty Seconds over Tokyo appears in an enhanced reprint edition on the sixtieth anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Japan. "One of the worst feelings about that time," Ted W. Lawson writes, "was that there was no tangible enemy. It was like being slugged with a single punch in a dark room, and having no way of knowing where to slug back." He added, "And, too, there was a helpless, filled-up, want-to-do-something feeling that [the Japanese] weren't coming - that we'd have to go all the way over there to punch back and get even." Which is what happened. Lawson gives a vivid eyewitness account of the unorthodox assignment that 85 intrepid volunteer airmen - the "Tokyo Raiders" - under the command of celebrated flier James H. Doolittle executed in April 1942. The plan called for sixteen B-25 twin-engine medium bombers of the Army Air Corps to take off from the aircraft carrier Hornet, bomb industrial targets in Japan, and land at airfields in China. While the raid came off flawlessly, completely surprising the enemy, a shortage of fuel caused by an early departure, bad weather, and dark-ness took a heavy toll of the raiders. For many, the escape from China proved a greater ordeal. Peter B. Mersky provides new information on the genesis of the raid, places it into the context of the early operations against Japan, and updates Ted Lawson's biography.