We Need a Doolittle Vaccine

Scientists unveil potential COVID-19 vaccine

On Dec 7, 1941, the United States was attacked by Japanese forces at Pearl Harbor. For about the next four months the nightly news broadcasted only defeat into the homes of American citizens. The Japanese went on to find victory as they attacked Thailand, Malaya, Singapore, & Hong Kong. Next to fall were the naval bases at Wake Island & Guam. They overran the Philippines. The Dutch East Indies, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands fell next. It seemed there was no stopping them. America could do nothing. We were losing the war that we were barely in.


America longed to hear some good news.


Lately, the news has been hard to watch. Each night my wife and I turn on the nightly news and watch in silence. The deadly COVID-19 virus seems to know nothing but victory. It attacks at will and we seemingly can’t do anything against it. Death rates are astonishing. Doctors and nurses who fight on the front lines are exhausted and defeated. It seems we’re losing this war.


Lately, I’ve been thinking about the early months of World War 2 and how this country could do nothing but sit through bad news each night as the enemy gained ground. We, as a nation, longed for good news. We wanted to hear something positive.


Then came April 18, 1942. A relatively small strike force led by Lt. Col. James H Doolittle did the unthinkable: they hit the enemy at their own home.


Aboard the USS Hornet sixteen medium bombers were able to sneak undetected to within striking distance of Japan. Over Tokyo, the bombers released their payload on an unsuspecting city, whose citizens had thought they were invincible.


The damage to Tokyo was hardly worth noting. But the morale that it brought into the hearts of United States citizens was immeasurable. The enemy was not invincible. They were not unreachable. Reporters finally had something good to say. The nightly news finally had something to boast about.


This morning as I read the morning news over a cup of coffee my heart leapt within me. UPMC Pittsburgh has reported it may have developed a vaccine against COVID-19.


Perhaps we finally have some good news. Perhaps the tide of war will soon change. Perhaps – just maybe – we will hear something to lift our hearts on this anniversary month of the Doolittle Raid.


If the vaccine proves to be effective, I would call it the Doolittle Vaccine.




Dane Cramer is a backpacker, Christian blogger, jail chaplain, amateur filmmaker, and author of two books: Romancing the Trail and The Nephilim: A Monster Among Us



Leave a Reply