Veterans

April 23, 2012

Doolittle raiders honored at ceremony marking 70th anniversary of historic mission

Tags:
by TSgt. Matthew Bates
Air Force News
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Bennie J. Davis III
Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole co-pilot of Gen. Jimmy Doolittle's B-25 plane #1, signs autographs during a meet and greet with the raiders for their 70th reunion, April 19 at the Hope Hotel, Fairborn, Ohio. At 96, Cole is the oldest of the remaining five Raiders and says the attention they receive still surprises him.

The five remaining members of the famous Jimmy Doolittle Tokyo Raid were honored in a banquet at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio, April 19.

Four of the raiders were in attendance, SSgt. David J. Thatcher, Maj. Thomas C. Griffin and Lt. Cols. Richard E. Cole and Edward J. Saylor. The fifth, Lt. Col. Robert L. Hite, was unable to attend for health reasons.

Cadet Chad Aukerman, Squadron Commander of Cadet Sq. 11 at Air Force Academy, performs the honor of goblet detail during the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders 70th Reunion, April 19 at a banquet for the historic reunion at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Two cadets are selected by the senior staff of the History Department of the Academy to perform the detail during Raider reunions.

The banquet commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Doolittle raid, where the crews of 16 B-25 bombers took off from the deck of the USS Hornet and dropped bombs on several locations in mainland Japan. After the mission, the crews didn’t have enough fuel to return home and 15 of the B-25s were either crash-landed in Japanese-occupied China or abandoned when their crews bailed out. The final B-25 landed safely within the borders of the Soviet Union and was the only plane to survive the mission.

The mission, though daring, was important because it marked the first time the United States was able to take the offensive against Japan after the Japanese military attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The raid forced the Japanese to change their tactics and boosted the morale of America and its allies.

“It was a hard mission, but we got away with it,” Saylor said, who served as a gunner with crew 15. “And we always knew it would help morale.”

The banquet not only honored the brave men of the Doolittle Raid, but gave those in attendance a chance to show their respect and meet the living legends.

“We are honored to host the raiders on the 70th anniversary of such a historic event,” said Lt. Gen. (ret.) Jack Hudson, the museum’s director. “And we are grateful these amazing men chose to come here to commemorate this famous World War II mission.”

During the banquet, the raiders were honored with a special movie featuring Hollywood stars such as Gary Sinise and Jon Voight, who all thanked the raiders for their service and praised them for their courage.

Several representatives from the Chinese Embassy were also on hand, as well as Hu Daxian, from Zhejiang, China, whose husband, Li Senlin, aided the rescue of Doolittle Raider crew number two, after they landed in Japanese-occupied China.

The banquet culminated a week of events held at the museum and throughout the local area, including a flyover of 20 B-25s, the most in one flight since World War II, and several autograph sessions and luncheons with the raiders.

Surviving Doolittle Raider Major Thomas C. Griffin, navigator of the #9 plane, greets attendees of a banquet to honor the Raiders during their 70th reunion at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, April 19, 2012.


Did you enjoy or perhaps disagree with something in this article? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Don’t forget, you can sign up for our email newsletter or subscribe to our RSS feed to keep up with our latest headlines.



All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

VA announces single regional framework under MyVA initiative

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Jan. 26 that it is taking the first steps under the MyVA initiative to realign its many organizational maps into one map with five regions to better serve Veterans. The new regions under the MyVA alignment will allow VA to begin the process of integrating disparate organizational boundaries into...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO2 Brian Wilbur

Nisei veterans honored with France’s highest award

Navy photograph by PO2 Brian Wilbur Adm. Harry Harris Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, delivers remarks at a ceremony honoring World War II veterans of the 100th Battalion 442nd Regiment at the Japanese Cultural Center of ...
 
 

VA announces appointment of new members to advisory council

The Department of Veterans Affairs is announcing the appointment of new members to the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses. VA will appoint Stephen L. Hauser, MD as committee chair for a term through September, 2016. Hauser is the Robert A. Fishman Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the...
 

 

Applications accepted for 2015 National Veterans Wheelchair Games

The Department of Veterans Affairs is accepting applications for the 2015 National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Registration began in early January and will close April 15. The National Veterans Wheelchair Games is a sports and rehabilitation program for military service Veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition due to spinal cord injuries, amputations or certain neurological...
 
 

Report: Agent Orange planes hold risk years after Vietnam

The health of some U.S. Air Force reservists could have been put at risk from the residue left in planes that sprayed Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, the Institute of Medicine reported Jan. 9. There’s not much data about the level of contamination, but limited testing years later make it plausible that some reservists...
 
 

Consolidation of POW/MIA mission moving forward

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Jan. 9 the Defense Department will, effective Monday, consolidate into one new agency the organizations that account for U.S. military prisoners of war and those missing in action. Hagel called for a review early last year to bring together the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, the Joint Personnel Accounting...
 




One Comment


  1. Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my site thus i came to return the choose?.I’m attempting to find things to improve my website!I guess its good enough to make use of some of your ideas!!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>