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.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph

Doolittle Tokyo Raiders to receive Congressional Gold Medal

Air Force photograph The USS Hornet had 16 U.S. Army Air Forces North American B-25B Mitchells on deck, ready for the Tokyo Raid on April 18, 1942. Seventy-three years ago, 80 men achieved the unimaginable when they took off fr...
 
 
Army photograph by Patrick Bloodgood

Over 27,000 burial sites to open at Arlington next year

Army photograph by Patrick Bloodgood Construction crews move dirt and prepare the ground at the Arlington National Cemetery Millennium Expansion Project, Feb. 19, 2014. The project also involves restoring an impaired stream tha...
 
 
Navy photograph by JOC Sam Shavers

SecNav commemorates Battle of Iwo Jima

Navy photograph by JOC Sam Shavers Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus delivers remarks at the 70th anniversary commemoration ceremony of The Battle for Iwo Jima in Iwo To, Japan. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus arrived on Iwo To, ...
 

 

Applications accepted for 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games

The Department of Veterans Affairs is currently accepting applications from Veterans interested in competing in the 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games. Applications can be completed online at www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov, and will be accepted through May 15. Veterans ages 55 and older who are enrolled for VA care are eligible to participate. The 2015 National Veterans...
 
 

VA eliminates net worth as health care eligibility factor

The Department of Veterans Affairs is updating the way it determines eligibility for VA health care, a change that will result in more veterans having access to the health care benefits they’ve earned and deserve. Effective 2015, the VA eliminated the use of net worth as a determining factor for both health care programs and...
 
 

VA establishes MyVA advisory committee

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced March 13 the establishment of the MyVA Advisory Committee. The committee brings together skilled experts from the private, non-profit and government sectors to assist in reorienting the Department to better meet the needs of Veterans. This committee is charged with advising the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with a focus...
 




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>