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75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Tokyo Raid

On April 18, 1942, 80 men achieved the unimaginable when they took off from an aircraft carrier on a top secret mission to bomb Japan. These men, led by Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, came to be known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.

 

Today, just one of the men survive: Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” E. Cole, who served as Doolittle’s co-pilot on Crew Number 1. Cole, now 101 years old, returned to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the raid and to pay tribute to fellow Raider SSgt. David Thatcher, who passed away in 2016.

 

Eleven B-25 Mitchell bombers were on static display on the runway behind the museum on April 17-18. There was a B-25 formation flyover prior to the start of a memorial service on 18 April, there was also a "Missing Man" formation and finally two B-1's from Ellsworth AFB flew over at the conclusion of the memorial service. In addition their were book signings by several authors, and a special film screening on the evening of April 18 of “Doolittle’s Raiders:  The Final Toast.” 

75th Anniv. Photos and Previous Event Photos

Event Schedule

(All activities are subject to change).


April 17


8 a.m.                           B-25 bombers arrive at runway behind museum 

                                     Public Viewing Location: Backside of Memorial Park                   

 

10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.     B-25 bombers on static display

                                     Location:  Runway behind the museum

                                     Enter grounds through gate at the corner of Col Glenn Hwy & Spinning Rd

 

Throughout Day         Author Book signings*

                                     Location:  Air Force Museum Store

                                     Authors include:

                                     Stan Cohen, "Destination Tokyo"
                                             James Scott, "Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor"

             Frank Goldstein, "The Last Reunion: A Salute to The Jimmy Doolittle Tokyo Raiders"

             Dennis Okerstrom, "Dick Cole's War: Doolittle Raider, Hump Pilot, Air Commando"

 

April 18

 

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.          B-25 bombers on static display

                                     Location:  Runway behind the museum

                                     Enter grounds through gate at the corner of Col Glenn Hwy & Spinning Rd

                                     All vehicles must be removed from runway grounds by 12 p.m.

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.           Public Commemorative postmark cancellation
                                     Location: NMUSAF gift shop

1:30 p.m.                     B-25's depart runway in preparation for the formation fly-over 

                                     Public Viewing Location: Backside of Memorial Park
              

 

2:15 p.m.                     B-25 bomber flyover

             Location:  Memorial Park

 

2:30 p.m.                     Memorial Service and Wreath Laying

             Location:  Memorial Park

 

Approx. 3:15 p.m.      B-1 bomber flyover from the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons

                                     Location:  Memorial Park

 

Throughout Day         Author Book signings*

                                      Location:  Air Force Museum Store

              Authors include:

              Stan Cohen, "Destination Tokyo"

                 James Scott, "Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor"

              Frank Goldstein, "The Last Reunion: A Salute to The Jimmy Doolittle Tokyo Raiders"

              Dennis Okerstrom, "Dick Cole's War: Doolittle Raider, Hump Pilot, Air Commando"

               

 

6:30 p.m.                    “Doolittle’s Raiders:  The Final Toast”

                                    Living History Film Series presented by Mr. W. Craig Willan*

            Location:  Air Force Museum Theatre

          Please note: This event is Sold Out

  • Event will be opened by Lt. Col. Dick Cole
  • Question and Answer session following film screening with Cindy Cole Chal and Jim Bower (Raiders’ Children)        
  • A limited number of packages will include the book “Dick Cole’s War:  Doolittle Raider, Hump Pilot, Air Commando” signed by Lt. Col. Dick Cole

    Event ticket  $15.00      Book & event package $50.00
    Call (937) 253-4629 or click here to purchase tickets

Note:  All outdoor events are weather dependent. The memorial service will still take place indoors at the Carney Auditorium in the event of inclement weather.

 

* Air Force Museum Foundation hosted events.  Federal endorsement is not implied.

 
Updated 3/16/17