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Scott 18 October 2007 07:39 AM

Under Fire

   One of those who comes under Gen. Claire Chennault's stinging lash, in the general's just-published book, is Clayton Bissell, World war I fighter ace and later air force aid. Chennault blames Bissell for the disasters which befell Jimmy Doolittle's Tokyo raiders.
   Bissell, sent to China to handle arrangements for the landing of Doolittle's planes there, after the historic strike at the Japanese capital, refused to take Chennault into his confidence, the general states.
   "As a result, when the Doolittle raiders were forced to change their plans and arrived over China in darkness and bad weather the vast warning net of east China had no way of communicating with the American bombers and guiding them over the unfamiliar terrain.
   "If I had been notified, a single American volunteer group (Flying Tigers) command ground radio station plugged into the East China net could have talked most of the raiders into a friendly field. As it was, they all crashed or bailed out in the dark.
   "Doolittle himself bailed out near the Japanese lines and narrowly escaped capture. One crew flew past several friendly bases to crash in Japanese-held Poyang lake where they were taken prisoner. Three of these crewmen were eventually executed at Shanghai. My bitterness over that bit of bungling has not eased with the passing years."

Waterloo Daily Courier (Waterloo, Iowa) - Tuesday, February 01, 1949

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