New Book, Target Tokyo, uses DRMA Archives

Please note that the following blog quotes directly from sources written during the height of WWII and contains language that today’s readers may find offensive.

Japanese air strikes on China in 1943
Photograph from Life magazine used in Scott’s book to illustrate the Japanese air strikes on China in 1943.

In the May 31, 1943 issue of Life magazine a series of photographs and a short article describes the Japanese attacks in the Kiangsi (Jiangxi) Province of China. “The rage that Doolittle’s bombing of Tokyo, whipped up in the Japs is shown for the first time in the pictures of these pages. On the rainy night of April 18, [1942], American fliers cascaded in their parachutes…in the southeast of China. The Vincentian Catholic missionaries at Ying-tan and Yukiang and 28 other towns in the area of northeastern Kiangsi heard air-raid sirens. The missionaries and Chinese fed, washed, and nursed the fliers until they were ready to head across the Jap lines to safety in Free China.”Target Tokyo Book Cover

Seventy-two years after the photographs were shared with readers of Life, author James Scott included a couple of these same images in his new book Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid that Avenged Pearl Harbor published by W. W. Norton & Company in April 2015. In his book, Scott writes extensively about the United States military’s first bombing of Japan during World War II led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle and the consequences of this historic air raid. In addition to the photographs, Scott mined first-hand accounts written by Vincentian priests to capture the brutality of war for his readers. A quote from a letter written by Rev. Louis Bereswill, C.M. opens Chapter 22 which describes in detail the destruction and violence experienced by those who assisted the Doolittle fliers, “One cannot imagine the barbarism of the Japs till one witnesses it with his own eyes.”

Chapter 22The promotional tour for Target Tokyo includes a scheduled appearance for author, James Scott, at Chicago’s 2015 Printer’s Row Lit Fest, June 6-7. Invited by Scott to join him on the panel, Morgen MacIntosh Hodgetts, Special Collections Instruction Librarian, will discuss how DePaul University Library staff provided research assistance during the spring of 2012 since the author was unable to visit the reading room in person.

Letters, diaries, artifacts, photographs, and home movies document the Vincentian missionary experience in China. For more information about these collections, contact Special Collections and Archives at or stop by our department in the John T. Richardson Library, Room 314.

Copies of Target Tokyo have been ordered for the library and will be cataloged and available to check-out soon.

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