The Mystery of Plane #8 – Doolittle Raid

The Mystery of Plane #8 - Doolittle Raid

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Following the daring and successful Doolittle Raid on Tokyo during World War 2, 16 American B-25 bombers continued on with perhaps the most dangerous portion of their flight. Having launched from the USS Hornet some 650 miles from the coast of Japan, the B-25s were on a one-way mission nearly out of fuel, and the aircraft flew towards China, as planned. That is, at least 15 of them did.

One aircraft would fail to make it to China and would inexplicably land near Vladivostok, Russia over 650 miles away, despite supposedly being under strict orders to avoid Soviet territory. The crew of Plane #8, as it was designated, was detained despite a wartime alliance with the Soviet Union. The mystery surrounding this diversion persists amid rumors that Plane #8 had secret orders and was on a special mission of its own…

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  1. This was a devestatiing blow to the Japanese morale it showed that they were not out of reach and the US could and would bring the fight to their doorstep and conversely it was a much needed boost to the morale if the US and a little bit of satisfaction for Pearl Harbor.

  2. Making conspiracy theories out of everything is dangerous. A good portion of Americans these days lack the ability of critical thinking. So making videos like this puts questions into their minds that shouldn’t be there. It’s why they are marching against a vaccine that will someday save a member of their family. The reason the plane went to the USSR was because their fuel tank took a anti-aircraft shot over Japan. They knew they had absolutely no chance of making it to China. They could either head towards China and for sure crash into the Sea, either dying or facing definite captivity. Or they could fly to the Soviet Union and take their chances with an ally. You failed to mention that the reason Doolittle didn’t send all of them to Siberia was Stalin had a neutrality pact with Japan. Early 1942 is when the Germans were just gearing up after the winter and Stalin thought they were going to continue towards Moscow. In the winter of 1941 he had taken over half of the divisions of troops out of Siberia to aide in the defense of Moscow. He did not have the troops to fight a 2 front war if Japan invaded through Manchuria like they had threaten. There was absolutely no way he would allow them to land, refuel and head back. As I have stated in other videos Japan attacking the US was the fatal flaw in the Axis war plans. Had th Japanese invaded the Soviet Union in early 1942 instead of the Philippines and other foreign colonies Stalin would have been given a death blow. The vast resources in Russia would have been more than enough to sustain Germany and Japan. The Germans had a clear plan to stay out of Asia and didn’t plan on going much farther East than Moscow. Hitler had planned on the Reich to cover Europe. He never mentioned former German colonies or the Middle East in his future plans. Attacking Russia would have given the Germans and Japanese continental dominance over Europe and Asia. It’s doubtful if the Americans could tip the scales with Russia being knocked out. Why they chose to attack the US is beyond me. Imagine the US being the lone power having to deal with the combined naval fleets of Germany and Japan. There would be no easy entry point to attack either one with the Soviet Union. Plus with the resources, both would be able to fight the war without worrying about supply shortages of food and especially oil. With the loss of Russia the British would have to sue for peace. With no other major powers to worry about Japan could easily steam a large portion of their navy to cover a German invasion of the UK. Churchill would know it and would work out a peace deal to avoid occupation.

  3. Oy. This is BAD history.

    For one thing, the simplest explanation is almost certainly the right one — Plane 8 was lower on fuel than the others, so they went for the nearest place to land: the USSR, not China. Were they lower on fuel than the others? Yes. Was the Soviet Union closer? Yes.

    What else matters? Report accurately.

    Second, the idea that the "State Department or the Secret Service" — decided where Plane 8 would go with secret orders is just delusional. The State Department has no operational role in a military mission — no role of any kind, in fact. Once FDR decided on the Raid, it was all Doolittle and the Navy. You give your delusions away with — the Secret Service? They are part of the TREASURY DEPARTMENT, the President's bodyguards and responsible for investigating counterfeit money. You think DOOLITTLE was going to consult THEM about his high pucker factor attack on Japan? Hap Arnold? Whaddaya, nuts?

    That said, every pilot on the Raid knew GEOGRAPHY. They knew the closest place to land where they might not be summarily executed by Japanese soldiers was the Soviet Union — and they all understood they had launched a couple hundred miles farther away than they had planned.

    Occam's Razor.

  4. LETS STRIP THESE FAT LADIES INTO THIN LADIES…………..excellent upload……..sri caps lock………..h6………thank you all for your service……………….uk air vet

  5. What I don't understand is why the Yanks choose the B25 instead of going with the lighter smaller P38? Unmodified, the P 38 had a comparable bomb load and range and was considerably faster…More importantly, if it had been fitted with arrester gear and beef up undercarriage it's likely it could have landed on the carrier at the end of the mission instead of needing to fly huge distances to China or Russia….

  6. I’m fairly certain that Doolittle only accepted the MOH on behalf of the entire team involved in the raid. He was reluctant to accept it since his plane was destroyed and many men endured torture or were killed. I’m sure someone knows more and can confirm this.

  7. Great job on this, only correction I would make is that the Soviets did not "let them escape". In fact, Captain York and his crew were treated so poorly by the Soviet Union, that many contracted dysentery and were malnourished, which can be considered torture. That's how the USSR treated America, America who prioritized the USSR during Lend Lease over Britain and even our own military. This part of history has been stolen and silenced. Keep up the great work brother. –Loyal Nine

  8. Plane 8 had a maintenance issues while waiting in Oakland California to be loaded onto the USS Hornet. The maintenance was performed by mechanics that were not from Doolittle's squadron, the changed out the carbs on the engines. Not a good thing. These planes were fine tuned for max flight time, tested and so #8 now went on it's mission without testing of the carbs that were changed back to stock.

  9. A former coworker from the early 70's was a P-51B pilot on the March 6,1944 bombing raid on Berlin. They shot down a lot of German fighters but they lost 68 bombers and had poor bombing results because 1/3 of the bomber guys didn't join up with the others. Doolittle was royally pissed off and sent them right back to Berlin on March 8th. He didn't tolerate fuck-ups like that and he got them out of the 8th AF real fast. Elmer A. always like and respected him very much.

  10. Plane #8. Would make for a great top-down twin stick shooter game.

    "It was widely reported that all of the B-25's flew towards Japan save for one, which curiously went off course and landed safely in USSR. This is the true story of…"

    <cut to title screen>

    <fading in>

    PLANE #8