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 The U.S. Air Force will host the famed Doolittle Tokyo Raiders' final toast to their fallen comrades during an invitation-only ceremony on Nov. 9 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
 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
 At this time, all four surviving Raiders are planning to attend the event
 The public will also have an opportunity to celebrate these World War II aviation heroes that day through events that include a wreath-laying ceremony at the Doolittle Raiders memorial and a flyover of B-25 aircraft
 More details will be announced as the event nears
 
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Doolittle Tokyo Raiders
Members of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders celebrate at an earlier reunion. (Air Force Photo)
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Doolittle Raiders' Final Toast Ceremony to take place at National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Posted 9/5/2013   Updated 9/5/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Rob Bardua
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force


9/5/2013 - DAYTON, Ohio -- The U.S. Air Force will host the famed Doolittle Tokyo Raiders' final toast to their fallen comrades during an invitation-only ceremony on Nov. 9 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

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. Led by Lt. Col. James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle, these men came to be known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders. Today, just four of the men survive: Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, co-pilot of Crew No. 1; Lt. Col. Robert L. Hite, co-pilot of Crew No. 16; Lt. Col. Edward J. Saylor, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 15; and Staff Sgt. David J. Thatcher, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 7. At this time, all four Raiders are planning to attend the event.

According to Museum Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson, the Doolittle Raid was an extremely important event in the development of American air power because it marked the first combat use of strategic bombardment by the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II.

"While the attack itself caused little actual damage to Japanese war industry, the psychological impact on the Japanese military and the American public proved to be immense," said Hudson. "The U.S. Air Force has drawn upon the Doolittle Raiders for inspiration ever since, and we are deeply honored that they have chosen to have this final ceremony at our national museum."

In 1959 the city of Tucson, Ariz., presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of silver goblets, each bearing the name of one of the 80 men who flew on the mission. At each of their past reunions, the surviving Raiders would conduct their solemn "Goblet Ceremony." After toasting the Raiders who died since their last meeting, they would then turn the deceased men's goblets upside down. The Nov. 9 event will mark their final toast.

Among those scheduled to attend the ceremony to pay tribute to the Raiders are Air Force Acting Secretary Eric Fanning and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III.

The public will also have an opportunity to celebrate these World War II aviation heroes that day through events that include a wreath-laying ceremony at the Doolittle Raiders memorial and a flyover of B-25 aircraft. In addition, the Air Force Museum Theatre is planning to show Doolittle Raider and World War II-themed films. More details will be announced as the event nears at www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/doolittle.asp.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the service's national institution for preserving and presenting the Air Force story. Each year, more than one million visitors come to the museum to learn about the mission, history and evolving capabilities of America's Air Force. For more information about the museum, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.


NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3286.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Rob Bardua at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1386.



tabComments
11/8/2013 6:32:42 PM ET
I also extend my thanks to all members of the Armed Forces past and present for their service to preserve our freedom. My father Marvin G. Baird was a B -25 mechanic during WWII stationed in Corsica so I have always had a fascination with the B-25 and interestingly my Dad's final duty station was at Eglin AFB where the Doolittle Raiders trained.There has always been a B-25 Memorial on display first in Valparaiso and now at the Air Force Armament Museum just outside of the Main Gate of Eglin. We'll worth a visit if you are in the area.
Gary W. Baird, Jacksonville Florida
 
10/15/2013 4:59:41 PM ET
Thank ALL of you for your service to this country. As the proud daughter of a WWII Army Veteran D-Day Rhineland Campaign Big Red One under Gen. Geo. Patton Battle of the Bulge I have a deep appreciation for our brave Military hero's. God Bless all who served continue to serve and those who never made it back home.
Char Comerford, Cleveland Ohio
 
10/5/2013 7:55:25 PM ET
As a 70 year old civilian I was at Wright Patterson airfield in 2012 for the Doolittle Anniversary. It was awesome to see about 20 B-25s on the airfield and being able to talk to the volunteers who now flew and maintained these planes. One of the real highlights of this event was listening to the stories of some of the 90 year old vets who showed up. They were the gunners, pilots, navigators and bombardiers who flew on these planes. Some of them would get tears in their eyes and choke up when telling their stories. On the second day of the flyover a lot of us at the end of the runway had tears in our eyes when all 20 planes fired up and took off over our heads. At this time I took my first ride on a B-25 Yankee Warrior. Since then I rode on a B-17, B-24, B-29 FiFi and a P-51, some more than once. Here again at all these airports the veterans and their stories were mesmerizing.
Tom G, St. Clairsville Ohio
 
9/17/2013 9:03:47 PM ET
I am proud to have been one of the last few student pilots to fly the B-25 at Reece AFB in 1958. My many thanks to the crews who flew it in combat.
ROBERT E FIELDING, AUBURN IL
 
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