Tuesday, March 31, 2015

“…he was just doing his job.”

“…he was just doing his job.”  Robert Hite, one of the last surviving crew on Doolittle's Raid on Tokyo in WWII has died of heart failure.

A few years ago, when another of the Doolittle Raid survivors had died, I was shocked to learn that many of my colleagues at work had never heard of the Doolittle Raid.  It's not as though it was ancient history – it happened in 1942, just ten years before I was born.  It was one of the most memorable stories to emerge from the American side of WWII, and was the subject of a wildly popular book and movie, both titled “30 Seconds Over Tokyo”.  How could any American not know about it?

Worse, those few colleagues of mine who did know the story were all immigrants.  Several Estonian colleagues knew about it in considerable detail, having been educated in primary school about this bit of American history – in the Soviet Union.  A colleague who hails from Australian knew about it, as did another who immigrated from Israel.  It seems that everybody except Americans knows about it!

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