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Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Congressional Gold Medal

The Congressional Gold Medal was presented to the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders April 15, 2015, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center Emancipation Hall. The medal, created by the U.S. Mint, is the highest civilian honor Congress can give, on behalf of the American people, and was presented in recognition of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders’ outstanding heroism and service to the U.S. during World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson)

The Congressional Gold Medal was presented to the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders April 15, 2015, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center Emancipation Hall. The medal, created by the U.S. Mint, is the highest civilian honor Congress can give, on behalf of the American people, and was presented in recognition of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders’ outstanding heroism and service to the U.S. during World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson)

The Congressional Gold Medal was presented to the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders April 15, 2015, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center Emancipation Hall. The medal, created by the U.S. Mint, is the highest civilian honor Congress can give, on behalf of the American people, and was presented in recognition of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders’ outstanding heroism and service to the U.S. during World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson)

The Congressional Gold Medal was presented to the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders April 15, 2015, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center Emancipation Hall. The medal, created by the U.S. Mint, is the highest civilian honor Congress can give, on behalf of the American people, and was presented in recognition of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders’ outstanding heroism and service to the U.S. during World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Lt. Col. Richard Cole, co-pilot of Crew No. 1, and Staff Sgt. David Thatcher, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 7, see their Congressional Gold Medal for the first time on April 17, 2015. During a ceremony on April 18 at the museum, the medal will be presented to the museum for inclusion in the Doolittle Raid exhibit. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Lt. Col. Richard Cole, co-pilot of Crew No. 1, and Staff Sgt. David Thatcher, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 7, see their Congressional Gold Medal for the first time on April 17, 2015. During a ceremony on April 18 at the museum, the medal will be presented to the museum for inclusion in the Doolittle Raid exhibit. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Lt. Col. Richard Cole, co-pilot of Crew No. 1, and Staff Sgt. David Thatcher, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 7, see their Congressional Gold Medal for the first time on April 17, 2015. During a ceremony on April 18 at the museum, the medal will be presented to the museum for inclusion in the Doolittle Raid exhibit. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Lt. Col. Richard Cole, co-pilot of Crew No. 1, and Staff Sgt. David Thatcher, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 7, see their Congressional Gold Medal for the first time on April 17, 2015. During a ceremony on April 18 at the museum, the medal will be presented to the museum for inclusion in the Doolittle Raid exhibit. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Doolittle Raiders Lt. Col. Richard Cole, co-pilot of Crew No. 1, and Staff Sgt. David Thatcher, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 7, with the Congressional Gold Medal. The medal is on display in the museum’s World War II Gallery in the Doolittle Raid exhibit. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Doolittle Raiders Lt. Col. Richard Cole, co-pilot of Crew No. 1, and Staff Sgt. David Thatcher, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 7, with the Congressional Gold Medal. The medal is on display in the museum’s World War II Gallery in the Doolittle Raid exhibit. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Washington D.C. -- National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) John Hudson accepts the Doolittle Raiders Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of the Raiders on April 15, 2015. (left to right) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Museum Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) John Hudson, Representative Pete Olson (R-TX-22nd District), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)  and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Washington D.C. -- National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) John Hudson accepts the Doolittle Raiders Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of the Raiders on April 15, 2015. (left to right) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Museum Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) John Hudson, Representative Pete Olson (R-TX-22nd District), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). (U.S. Air Force photo)


On May 23, 2014, President Barack Obama signed Public Law 113-106 awarding the Congressional Gold Medal --  the highest civilian recognition Congress can bestow -- to the 80 members of the Doolittle Tokyo Raid in recognition of their service. The 113th Congress awarded this medal to the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders for their “outstanding heroism, valor, skill, and service to the United States” during the famous raid on Japan on April 18, 1942.

Congressional Gold Medals are designed and struck by the United States Mint, and these medals are normally kept by the Smithsonian Institution. However, the 113th Congress directed that the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders’ medal be given to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, “where it shall be available for display” with the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Goblets.

The obverse (“heads”) side of the medal depicts a B-25 Mitchell taking off from the deck of the USS Hornet on the first air strike against Japan. The stars represent the 16 Doolittle Tokyo Raider aircrews that participated in the attack. The reverse (“tails”) side shows the emblems of the four squadrons of the 17th Bombardment Group with three B-25s fulfilling the group’s motto: Toujours au Danger  -- “Ever into Danger.”

The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Congressional Gold Medal came to the museum in April 2015 to join the Doolittle Raiders Goblets, which the Raiders had donated to the museum in 2005.

Click here to return to the Doolittle Raid Overview.

 

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