Here’s to You, Doolittle Raiders

The National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, has invited the local community to personally welcome the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders for their grand arrival on Nov. 9. Community members are encouraged to wave flags and line the driveway leading up to the museum, according to an Air Force release. The surviving Raiders will gather in Dayton for their “final toast to their fallen comrades.” Acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh are among the leaders expected to attend the private “goblet ceremony.” Retired Lt. Col. Richard Cole, retired Lt. Col. Bob Hite, retired Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, and retired SSgt. David Thatcher—the four surviving Raiders—all are expected to attend, the museum said in September. Community members are asked to find their places by 1 p.m. for the 1:15 p.m. arrival. Participants also may cheer as the Raiders make their way back down the drive to their wreath-laying ceremony at 2 p.m., according to the release. The Raiders, led by then-Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, carried out a daring top-secret bombing mission over Tokyo on April 18, 1942, in 16 carrier-launched B-25 bombers. (See also Doolittle’s Raid from the April 2009 edition of Air Force Magazine)