Base Tour Held to Honor Raid’s 73rd Anniversary

Eric J. Kos

Korean War veteran and historian Marshall Davis (pictured) took the lead as tour guide for the Alameda Naval Air and USS Hornet museums that hosted a fundraising event in honor
of the Doolittle Raid, which left from Alameda on April 1, 1942.

The "Doolittle Walk" featured visits to the place Jimmy Doolittle touched down on the runways just past the flight tower; Pier 2 where the USS Hornet was loaded with 16 B-25 bombers; and today’s USS Hornet which is technically a newer craft than the one that set out on the Doolittle Raid to bomb Tokyo.

Davis described in great detail the logistics necessary to pull of the raid, which featured a technique that hadn’t been tried before: bombers taking off from an aircraft carrier’s flight deck.

The raid largely succeeded in its mission and is considered a major morale-building victory for the U.S. at the very beginning of the nation’s involvement in World War II.

Davis himself remembers World War II to some degree as he was 11 years old when hostilities broke out. He is a member of the History Connection, a local group that provides the community with presentations of historical and military interest. Davis is well versed in the exact positions of Navy equipment during the raid and stepped off the 400 feet of deck space the raiders had to use as a runway.

For more on Jimmy Doolittle and the raiders, visit the Alameda Naval Air Museum at 2151 Ferry Point in Building 77. More information can be found at www.anavalairmusem.org.