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The Doolittle Raid

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Bob Guercio

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 04:17 PM

Hi Everyone,

Prior to raiding Japan, each plane of the Doolittle raid was loaded with ten 5 gallon cans of aviation fuel.

I've read that the crew members were told not to discard them from the plane individually but to discard all of them at once after they all had been used. Apparently, it was felt that by discarding them individually, if found by the Japanese, this could lead them straight to the Hornet.

I've also read that they were told to puncture holes in them prior to discarding them so that they would sink and not float.

My question is "Why would the crew members want to discard empty fuel cans? Why not just leave them on the plane?"

So presuming that the empy fuel cans were somehow discarded during the flight to Japan, why was this done?

Thanks guys,

Bob Guercio

#2 formerjughead


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Posted 18 July 2009 - 04:22 PM

B-25's are small and space is a premium. An argument could also be made that the empty fuel cans presented an explosion hazard.

#3 blacksnake



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Posted 18 July 2009 - 04:28 PM

I'd go along with that theory F/J ... a tracer-round through an empty fuel can, and "Kaboom" :eek:
When I finally get to Heaven, to St. Peter I will tell, "Another Marine reporting sir, I've served my time in Hell". :S!

#4 Slipdigit


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Posted 19 July 2009 - 02:28 AM

B-25's are small and space is a premium. An argument could also be made that the empty fuel cans presented an explosion hazard.

I would lean toward this. Gasoline fumes are most dangerous than the liquid and the cans would be full of fumes.

Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:


#5 jemimas_special2



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Posted 14 September 2009 - 10:00 PM

The bombers still had to be modified for the near impossible mission. The bombers were stripped from anything that was not essential, in order to make room for extra fuel and reduce weight. A 200 gallons rubber fuel tank was installed in the bombs compartment, another 160 gallons fuel tank was put in the crew corridor, and a 60 gallons fuel tank replaced the machine guns in the ventral turret. Finally, ten 5 gallon tanks were also taken, to be manually added into the rear fuel tank in flight. The total amount of fuel was almost double than that of a standard B-25. The 230lb radio was removed, and so was the top secret Norden bombsight. The engines were optimized for maximum fuel efficiency.

Attached File  b-25_2.jpg   48.45KB   2 downloads

Jimmy Doolittle received the Congressional Medal of Honor for planning and leading the Tokyo Raid. He was promoted to General, and later in the war vast bomber fleets under his command dropped countless bombs on Germany and Japan, but he is best remember for the first four bombs he dropped over Tokyo in April 1942, America's first victory.

ref: The Doolittle Raid


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#6 urqh


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Posted 15 September 2009 - 09:48 AM

A man of vision.. Its good our nations produce them when necessary.

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