DOOLITTLE RAID: MAP OF THE NORTHERN PACIFIC THEATER, SIGNED BY 60 MEMBERS OF THE FLIGHT CREWS BEFORE TAKE OFF, ON THE USS HORNET, c.17 APRIL 1942 17 x 11in (43 x 28cm)

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Lot 36
DOOLITTLE RAID: MAP OF THE NORTHERN PACIFIC THEATER, SIGNED BY 60 MEMBERS OF THE FLIGHT CREWS BEFORE TAKE OFF, ON THE USS HORNET, c.17 APRIL 1942
17 x 11in (43 x 28cm)

Sold for US$ 15,000 inc. premium
DOOLITTLE RAID: MAP OF THE NORTHERN PACIFIC THEATER, SIGNED BY 60 MEMBERS OF THE FLIGHT CREWS BEFORE TAKE OFF, ON THE USS HORNET, c.17 APRIL 1942
A cut section of an American lithographic map showing Japan, Korea and the Northern Chinese coastline, the map with magnetic variation for 1940, lettered in ink "Tokio Junket" and signed in various colored inks (all over the map) by 60 members of the Doolittle Raid, the map on thick paper.
Provenance: James D Mathews, standby Navigator for the Doolittle Raid, the map prepared and signed for Mathews before the raid took off. The lot is accompanied by a signed letter from the consignor affirming the family provenance.

The Doolittle Air Raid, or Tokyo Raid, of April 18th 1942, was the first air raid to strike at Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor, in December 1941. Initially instigated by President Roosevelt himself it provided an enormous morale booster for the US forces in the Pacific, knowing that America could strike at the heart of the Japanese Empire. Organized and led by Lieut. Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle, it was both audacious and somewhat foolhardy, as the 16 B-25Bs Mitchell medium bombers set off without fighter protection and had to cross enemy airspace, locate targets, and then get down to China to ditch. The USS Hornet sailed deep into the Western Pacific, and 650 miles east of Japan, launched the especially lightened bombers with extra fuel tanks. Of the 16 planes all were lost, 15 ditched in China and one in the Soviet Union. Eight of the eighty men led by Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle were captured, and 3 of them executed by the Japanese, though 15 aircrews made it back through China to the States. Although the material damage to Japan was slight, it was a major propaganda victory for the US.

This signed map includes many of the signatures of the leading pilots including Doolittle, Hallmark, Joyce, Watson, York, Smith, Greening, and Gray. The raid had bitter consequences for China, with a massive sweep by the Japanese Army in Zhejiang-Jiangxi saw thousands of Chinese civilians murdered under accusations that they had given aid to the downed pilots.
17 x 11in (43 x 28cm)
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