18 April 1942. Sixteen planes take off from a US Navy carrier in the mid-Pacific. A squadron of young, barely trained flyers under a famous daredevil, Jimmy Doolittle, they are America's first retaliation towards Japan since Pearl Harbor. Their mission: to bomb Japan's 's five main cities including Tokyo. Critically compromised by the discovery of the US fleet by Japanese spies, they are not expected to come back.
Having successfully delivered their bombs, most of the squadron run out of fuel and are forced to crash land in Japan, China and the Soviet Union. The stories of their journeys home are as heroic as that of the raid itself. Incredibly of the 80 flyers who left the USS ... 90% eventually returned alive to the US. The First Heroes tells the extraordinary story of the daring raid and shows for the first time the real story of what was to be the turning point in the war against Japan.
"The story of the Doolittle Raid lifts off the page, as rich and engrossing as any legend, and Craig Nelson proceeds to bring to vivid life the dramatic story behind the story. This is an astounding feat. Nelson is an amazing storyteller'"
"'In this passionate and intimate history, Craig Nelson reminds us that America's first response to Pearl Harbor was neither tepid nor undramatic, but rather one of warfare's boldest chapters of righteous revenge'"