"He died in a veterans hospital (on Feb. 26), said Tom Casey, a friend and the manager of the Doolittle Raiders, as the airmen who flew on the raid came to be known.Capt. Ted W. Lawson chronicled the attack in his memoir “30 Seconds Over Tokyo,” which was adapted into a popular film in 1944.
The raid, the first American attack on Japanese soil, followed a string of Japanese victories in the Pacific that had demoralized the American public. “The Japanese had attacked us, and we were mad,” Major Griffin said in an interview in 2012. “We wanted to hit ’em back.”
The 80 men who volunteered for the raid were told only that they would be involved in a terribly dangerous mission. They were to fly 16 B-25s from the deck of the U.S.S. Hornet — the first time the land-based bombers had been launched at sea — to strike military and industrial targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe, Nagoya and Osaka."