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  B-25B Mitchell Serial Number 40-4344  
USAAF
12th AF
17th BG
34th BS


USAAF April 18, 1942


USAAF April 1942

Pilot  Col. James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle, O-2771885 (survived) Alameda, CA
Co-Pilot  Lt. Richard E. Cole, O-421602 (survived)
Navigator  Lt. Henry A. Potter, O-419614 (survived) Pierre, SD
Bombardier Sgt Fred A. Breamer, 6875923 (survived)
Gunner  Sgt Paul J. Leonard, 6248728 (survived)

Landed  April 18, 1942 "Doolittle Raid"
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25B Mitchell serial number 40-2344.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 12th Air Force, 17th Bombardment Group, 34th Bombardment Squadron. One of sixteen B-25's assigned to the "Doolittle Raid".

Mission History
On April 18, 1942 took off from the USS Hornet CV-8 at 8:20am piloted by Doolittle as aircraft number one of sixteen bombers on the "Doolittle Raid". Aboard was a crew from the 34th Bombardment Squadron.

As the lead B-25 proceeded to Tokyo and bombed the north central industrial area with four incendiary cluster bombs. Afterwards, this B-25 proceeded to the coast of China where unfavorable weather made it necessary for crew to bail out from 8,000' north of Quzhou in China, roughly 70 miles north of Chuchow.

Fates of the Crew
After bailing out, the entire crew landed safely near Tien Mu Shen roughly 70 miles north of Chuchow. After landing, the entire crew was rescued by General Ho, Director of the Western Branch of Chekiang Province who agreed to collect any crews down between Hung Chow Bay and Wen Chow Bay using sampans and junks.

Afterwards, Doolittle earned the Medal of Honor for his role in the mission.

Memorials
Doolittle passed away September 27, 1993.

Potter passed away May 27, 2002. He is buried at Cook-Walden Capital Parks Cemetery and Mausoleum in Pflugerville, TX.

Cole is the sole surviving crew member from the "Doolittle Raid".

References
General Doolittle's Report on Japanese Raid April 18, 1942
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25B Mitchell 40-2344
FindAGrave - Jimmy Doolittle / James Harold Doolittle (photos, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Col Henry A Potter (photos, grave photo)
AP "WWII era bombers fly over Doolittle Raiders memorial service" April 20, 2017

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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B-25

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