Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

Based on a book by the same title, this 1944 film follows the unprecedented 1942 bombing of the capital of Japan during WW II. It stars Van Johnson as Lt. Ted Lawson, author of the book and a pilot on the mission, and Spencer Tracy as Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle. The film won an Oscar, was nominated for another and is considered one of the best films to come out of WW II.

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Doolittle led a squadron of 16 B-25 bombers on their daring mission. They were spotted by the Japanese prior to takeoff from their aircraft carrier. Knowing that Tokyo might be tipped off and that his planes lacked the fuel to return to their carrier or make it to a friendly base, Doolittle launched the attack anyway. After releasing their bombs, they headed for China, flying until they ran out of fuel and hoping for the best.

To view the trailer, click here.

To rent the movie, click here.

To buy the DVD, click here.

To buy the book the movie was based on, click here.

To view archival footage of the actual bombing mission, click here.

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Steve Corbo

A founding member and corporate secretary of the Italian American Veterans Museum, Steve Corbo is the museum’s curator and a military consultant for Fra Noi. He has served for 25 years as president of S.A. Corbo & Associates Inc., providing professional liability insurance to health care providers. The son and nephew of World War II veterans and a passionate military historian for over 50 years, he has written and published articles on a variety of topics, including military history, and serves as the military consultant for Fra Noi, the Chicago-area Italian-American magazine.

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