America achieved a major psychological victory when on April 18, 1942 American bombers led by General Doolittle achieved what was thought to be impossible and launched a bombing raid against Japan. The bombers were specially modified B-25 bombers that were able to take off from the Aircraft Carrier Hornet. The Hornet was forced to launch the aircraft earlier then planned and as a result the planes did not have enough fuel to make it to Chinese airfields. The crews of the planes parachuted out before they ran out of fuel and all of the crewmember except for three captured and executed by the Japanese in China survived.
While the bombers did not inflict serious damage on the Japanese, the raids gave the American people an important psychological boost, while having the opposite effect on the Japanese- who suddenly felt vulnerable. The raid also forced the Japanese to expend men and material in trying to protect against a future raid.