On display in Hangar 37 of the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is a B-25 Michell medium bomber. This plane is B-25J which has been modified to represent an earlier model of the Mitchell. This was done to have it represent one of the most daring missions ever attempted in WWII, and it is celebrated even to this day. In the wake of Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy cut a path across the Pacific. The United States and its Allies were suffering loss after loss at the hands of the Japanese. A plan was formulated to attack Japan itself. This would serve to make the Japanese divert resources to defend their home Islands and to give a much needed morale boost to the otherwise demoralized American people. In April of 1942, 16 specially modified B-25 Army medium bombers were loaded onto the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. They, along with an escorting force, were headed for Japan. The B-25s were modified with additional fuel tanks to extend their range. In exchange, most of their guns were taken off. The planes were stripped of anything that was deemed unnecessary. On April 18, 1942, the 16 B-25s under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle did what many, especially the Japanese, thought was impossible. The B-25s took off from the USS Hornet bound for Tokyo. The raid, now known as the Doolittle Raid, was conducted under the utmost secrecy. In addition, all 80 men on this mission knew that they would not be returning to the carrier. They did not have the fuel for a round trip, and the planes were incapable of making a carrier landing. They would have to fly on past Japan and hope that they could reach friendly forces in China. The raid caught the Japanese completely unprepared. The raiders had a minimal bomb load, so in the big picture, they did little actual damage. However, the raid totally stunned Japan, who had thought their Islands were beyond the reach of the war. Fifteen of the sixteen raiders ended up crashlanding, ditching, or crashing in China. One B-25 ended up in Russia, where the plane was impounded. Of the 75 that made it to China, three died in action, and eight were captured. The rest managed, with the assistance of Chinese civilians, to get to friendly lines and on the long road home. The Japanese were furious. The Japanese Army launched Operation Sei-go to capture the raiders and to take revenge upon the Chinese who helped them. In the search for Doolittle’s men, the Japanese killed an estimated 10,000 Chinese civilians. Their vengeance-fueled campaign ravaged an area of around 20,000 square miles and hit several towns, including Nancheng, where the Japanese went on an orgy of atrocities comparable to the Rape of Nanking. They tortured to death any who were found to have assisted the Americans and unleashed biological weapons such as anthrax and the plague weaponized by Unit 731, the Japanese Army’s biological weapons lab. In all, around 250,000 Chinese civilians were killed in this campaign. In an episode of karma, around 1,700 Japanese soldiers succumbed to the very same diseases that they unleashed upon the Chinese. This accounted for around 17% of the men assigned to this operation. Of the eight captured men, all were tried and sentenced to death. Three were executed, and five had their death sentence commuted. One died in captivity, and the remaining four spent the rest of the war in a prisoner-of-war camp. After the war, the remains of the dead raiders were repatriated. One raider, Cpl. Harold A. Spatz is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl crater. The Doolittle Raid lives on as one of the most epic tales in the history of WWII. The US Air Force has recently decided to commemorate the spirit of the Doolittle Raid in the name of their newest and most advanced stealth bomber, the Northrop-Grumman B-21 Raider.