(YA) Because the range of the B-25 bomber was only 300 miles, a plan was conceived in January 1942 by which the bombers could be launched against the Japanese homeland by sending them from an aircraft carrier. Carrier-based bombers had never been tried before. The famed Doolittle Tokyo raid, far from being an attempt to inflict indiscriminate damage, was part of an American master plan to build up our power in the Far East and to aid China. B-25's had to be modified, the carrier hornet readied, crews trained for the radical take-off procedure, arrangements made to receive the planes in either China or Russia, -- all in secrecy. Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, perhaps the most widely known pilot in the world, was given charge of the operation and a target date. When the mission finally comes, and unwary Japan lies waiting, the story is told by Doolittle himself and fifteen of his participating officers, plus excerpted testimony from a Japanese war crimes trial relating to treatment of prisoners. There were only eighty men who flew on that April 18, 1942 raid and their valor under stress makes gripping reading.