National Geographic : 1961 Aug
U.S.S. Hornet, Rolling in Heavy Swells, Launches the First Air Strike at Japan Early in World War II, American morale sagged as Japanese forces stormed the Pacific. But in April, 1942, a joint Army-Navy strike gave spir its a boost. The carrier Hornet, commanded by Capt. (later Adm.) Marc Mitscher, launched 16 bombers a mere 668 miles off Tokyo. Led by Lt. Col. (later Lt. (en.) James H. Ioolittle, the planes hit five Japanese cities. Of the 80 flyers, 73 sur vived by crash-landing or parachuting into China. This Hornet, seventh Navy ship to bear the name, was sunk in October, 1942. A new carrier 290 took the name again in 1943 (preceding page).