At this time 73 years ago, eighty brave members of the "Doolittle Tokyo Raiders" were steaming towards Japan on a top secret mission aboard the USS Hornet. Their mission was to strike the first blow against the Japanese homeland. Like most plans during wartime, they adjusted on the fly by leaving early once they had been sighted, despite the extra miles it added onto their flight. Taking off in their B-25 land-based bombers, they achieved a surprise attack, causing the Imperial Navy to redeploy the Japanese warships, and providing a much needed boost to American morale after Pearl Harbor.
Today, at 3:00 PM EDT, leaders of the US House and Senate will present a Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of heroism of these brave men and their service to their country during World War II. You can watch the ceremony live at http://www.speaker.gov/live Lt. General John "Jack" Hudson, Director of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, will accept the medal on their behalf.“ It is a tremendous privilege to be invited to accept the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders,” Hudson said. “The medal is a well-deserved honor for these amazing World War II heroes.
On Saturday, 4/18/2015, at 6:oo PM EDT, the 73rd anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, Lt. Colonel Richard "Dick" E. Cole, Colonel Jimmy Doolittle's co-pilot, will present the medal to the National Museum of the United States Air Force to be placed in the diorama showing a B-25 on the deck of the USS Hornet. The museum is the largest military aviation museum in the world, for it is entrusted with the keeping of the stories of countless American flying heroes. You can watch this ceremony LIVE, at either www.af.mil/live.aspx or www.nationalmuseum.af.mil. Please joins for one or both events. A follow up story with more pictures will be posted next week.