'Doolittle Raid' B-25B Mitchell s/n 40-2270 'Whiskey Pete' Relic Display


'Doolittle Raid' B-25B Mitchell s/n 40-2270 'Whiskey Pete' (Aircraft Number 3) mission-flown relic display combining an authentic piece of this aircraft with original artwork and history, by Ron Cole. 


The Doolittle Raid, also known as the Tokyo Raid, on 18 April 1942, was an air raid by the United States on the Japanese capital Tokyo and other places on Honshu Island during World War II, the first air raid to strike the Japanese Home Islands. It demonstrated that Japan itself was vulnerable to American air attack, served as retaliation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, and provided an important boost to U.S. morale while damaging Japanese morale. The raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle, U.S. Army Air Forces.

Sixteen U.S. Army Air Forces B-25B Mitchell medium bombers were launched without fighter escort from the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier USS Hornet deep in the Western Pacific Ocean, each with a crew of five men. The plan called for them to bomb military targets in Japan, and to continue westward to land in China—landing a medium bomber on Hornet was impossible. Fifteen of the aircraft reached China, and the other one landed in the Soviet Union. All but three of the crew survived, but all the aircraft were lost. Eight crewmen were captured by the Japanese Army in China; three of these were executed. The B-25 that landed in the Soviet Union at Vladivostok was confiscated and its crew interned for more than a year. Fourteen crews, except for one crewman, returned either to the United States or to American forces.

After the raid, the Japanese Imperial Army conducted a massive sweep through the eastern coastal provinces of China, in an operation now known as the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign, searching for the surviving American airmen and applying retribution on the Chinese who aided them, in an effort to prevent this part of China from being used again for an attack on Japan.

The raid caused negligible material damage to Japan, but it succeeded in its goal of raising American morale and casting doubt in Japan on the ability of its military leaders to defend their home islands. It also contributed to Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's decision to attack Midway Island in the Central Pacific—an attack that turned into a decisive strategic defeat of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) by the U.S. Navy in the Battle of Midway. Doolittle, who initially believed that loss of all his aircraft would lead to his being court-martialed, received the Medal of Honor and was promoted two steps to Brigadier General.

B-25B 'Whiskey Pete' was the third aircraft to launch from the Hornet. 

Pilot Robert M. Gray flew his B-25 through antiaircraft fire to drop his bombs on industrial areas of Tokyo and strafe a military barracks before flying on to China. He ordered his crew to bail out when fuel ran out. During evacuation of the airplane Gunner Leland Faktor became the first casualty of the raid. Gray's navigator injured a leg upon landing and his copilot cut a hand while attempting to make a water bag out of his parachute's rubber cushion. 

Gray reached the Chinese mainland long after dark. He ordered the crew to bail out at about 10 p.m. as the fuel was running out. The bomber was then flying over a hilly area near Beiyang, in Zhejiang province.

Lt. Gray and Sgt. A.E. Jones were found and escorted by local farmers to Quzhou (Chuchow) the next morning. Co-pilot Lt. Jacob E. Manch also landed in a hillside. Knowing the danger of walking in a mountainous area in darkness, Lt. Jacob E. Manch went to sleep with the parachute as his quilt.

At daybreak the next morning he met a local farmer, who later escorted him to Quzhou (Chuchow). Navigator-gunner Lt. Charles J. Ozuk was found the next morning by a local farmer who carried him to Quzhou (Chuchow). 

Lt. Robert M. Gray (pilot)
Lt. Jacob E. Manch (copilot)
Lt. Charles J. Ozuk (navigator)
Sgt. Aden E. Jones (bombardier)
Cpl. Leland D. Faktor (engineer/gunner)
USS Hornet, Raid against Tokyo

The location where 'Whiskey Pete' crashed into a hillside was quickly discovered by local villagers and farmers, who then went about transforming the wreckage into useful tools and items in need during wartime. There was no attempt by American forces during the war to identify or recover the aircraft as it crashed with no fatalities and was destroyed upon impact. Several small bits of 'Whiskey Pete' were brought back to the States over the following decades. The pieces that lend their samples to our relic displays are relatively non-descript aside from verified part numbers, aluminum manufacturing stamps, and very sparse remaining original paint. They were recovered from the crash site in 1995 by an American team working with Chinese locals, one of whom was alive in 1942 and recalled the event. 


These pieces are paired with Ron Cole's new and original artwork of this aircraft flying over Beiyang, China after its crew had bailed out. Their parachutes are seen in the distance. 

The artwork is 11x17-inches and is framed in a 13x19-inch black satin frame, ready to hang. Each piece is signed and numbered by the artist, who also testifies to the authenticity and research into the pieces attached to each display. Authenticity guaranteed for life. 

Very limited! 


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