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