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Old 14th April 2007, 14:34
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65th anniversary of the legendary "Doolittle Raid

PRESS RELEASE -- Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Public Affairs

Release No. 010407
April 11,2007

US Air Force marks 65th anniversary of the legendary "Doolittle Raid"



San Antonio - The U.S. Air Force will host several events in conjunction
with the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders 65th annual reunion in San Antonio,
Texas April 17-21. The raid, which was ordered by President Franklin D.
Roosevelt as America's response to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor,
remains one of the most daring combat missions in American history.

On April 18, 1942, famed aviation pioneer Lt. Col. "Jimmy"
Doolittle and 79 other volunteers launched 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers from
the deck of the USS Hornet. It was a bold and audacious mission and gave
America a much-needed boost in morale in the early days of WWII.
Doolittle, who was already famous for setting aviation speed and
endurance records throughout the 1920s and 1930s, became a national hero
and went on to command the 8th Air Force in Europe at the close of World
War II. He died in 1993 and remains the only person to have ever held
both of America's highest military and civilian awards - the Medal of
Honor and the Medal of Freedom. Of the 79 men who took off with
Doolittle that day, three were killed during the mission, five were
interned in Russia and eight became prisoners of war in Japan. Of those
POWs, three were executed by firing squad and another died in captivity.
Thirteen others would die later in the war. There are 14 Raiders alive
today.

The reunions, which began as a birthday party Doolittle hosted in
Florida in 1947, have evolved into an annual gathering of one of the
most elite military fraternities in the world. At every reunion,
surviving Raiders meet privately to conduct a solemn "goblet ceremony."
After a role call and a toast to the Raiders who have died since their
last meeting, the remaining Raiders turn the deceased men's goblets
upside down. When only two Raiders remain, they will open a bottle of
brandy from 1896 - the year of Doolittle's birth - and toast their
fallen comrades. The 80 goblets, which are normally on display at the
National Museum of the United States Air Force, will be brought to San
Antonio by U.S. Air Force Academy cadets.

This year's goblet ceremony will be Wednesday, April 18. The
Raiders will arrive at Randolph Air Force Base Tuesday, April 17, and
there will be a fly-in of vintage B-25s. The surviving Raiders will also
attend the Basic Military Training Graduation at Lackland Air Force Base
Friday, April 20, which will feature a B-25 flyover. Details of the
reunion can be found at www.b-25yellowrose.com.

The Doolittle Raiders scheduled to attend this year's reunion are:

Col. William M. Bower
Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole
Major Thomas C. Griffin
Lt. Col. Robert L. Hite
MSgt Edwin W. Horton, Jr.
Maj. Gen. David M. Jones
Staff Sgt. David J. Thatcher


Media interested in covering the reunion or doing a story prior to
the event should contact Lt Col Stephen Clutter at (310) 235-7511 or via
e-mail at stephen.clutter@afnews.af.mil or Capt Christy Stravolo at
(310) 235-7532 or via e-mail at christy.stravolo@afnews.af.mil.
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