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The last reunion of the  Doolittle Tokyo Raiderswill be held today.

“Who could imagine volunteering for our nation in 1942 and celebrating its success 71 years later?,” Lt. Col. Richard Cole asked recently in a video announcing the Raiders’ last reunion in Fort Walton Beach this week, when they will, at last, share their bottle of 1896 Hennessy."

Doolittle Raiders Reunion Promotional Video from Revive Media Services on Vimeo.

Official Doolittle Raiders Web Site

The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders was a group eighty men from all walks of life who flew into history on April 18, 1942. They were all volunteers and this was a very dangerous mission. Sixteen B-25 bombers took off from the deck of the USS Hornet, led by (then Col.) Jimmy Doolittle. They were to fly over Japan, drop their bombs and fly on to land in a part of China that was still free. Of course, things do not always go as planned.

The months following the attack on Pearl Harbor were the darkest of the war, as Imperial Japanese forces rapidly extended their reach across the Pacific. Our military was caught off guard, forced to retreat, and losing many men in the fall of the Philippines, leading to the infamous Bataan Death March.

By spring, 1942, America needed a severe morale boost. The raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942, certainly provided that – cheering the American military and public. Yet, the Doolittle Raid meant so much more, proving to the Japanese high command that their home islands were not invulnerable to American attacks and causing them to shift vital resources to their defense. Two months later that decision would play a role in the outcome of the Battle of Midway, the American victory that would begin to turn the tide in the Pacific War.

In order to honor all the Raiders, past and present, for their valor, courage and patriotism, we are working to get the Congressional Gold Medal awarded while we still have three members who are able to travel to receive the award.

We need your help!

Please contact your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor S.381, which is the Senate bill authorizing the Congressional Gold Medal, and contact your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor H.R.1209, which is the House bill. Both bills must pass by two-thirds majority.

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Originally posted to DKos Military Veterans on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 03:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by History for Kossacks and Kossack Air Force.

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