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

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Crew No. 6 (Plane #40-2298, target Tokyo): 95th Bombardment Squadron, front row: Lt. Dean E. Hallmark, pilot; and Lt. Robert J. Meder, copilot; back row: Lt. Chase J. Nielsen, navigator; Sgt. William J. Dieter, bombardier; and Sgt. Donald E. Fitzmaurice, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 6 (Plane #40-2298, target Tokyo): 95th Bombardment Squadron, front row: Lt. Dean E. Hallmark, pilot; and Lt. Robert J. Meder, copilot; back row: Lt. Chase J. Nielsen, navigator; Sgt. William J. Dieter, bombardier; and Sgt. Donald E. Fitzmaurice, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

65th Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Logo

65th Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Logo

Crew No. 7 (Plane #40-2261, target Tokyo): 95th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Ted W. Lawson, pilot; Lt. Dean Davenport, copilot; Lt. Charles L. McClure, navigator; Lt. Robert S. Clever, bombardier; Sgt. David J. Thatcher, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 7 (Plane #40-2261, target Tokyo): 95th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Ted W. Lawson, pilot; Lt. Dean Davenport, copilot; Lt. Charles L. McClure, navigator; Lt. Robert S. Clever, bombardier; Sgt. David J. Thatcher, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Doolittle Raid Mini Poster. This poster is 7.5x10 inches @ 300 ppi and was created by the Air Force News Agency. This poster can be provided up to 18x24 inches in size and in almost any format required upon request. Air Force Link does not provide printed posters but assistance can be provided in acquiring posters through your servicing DAPS. A PDF version for printing on office printers is also available. Requests can be made to afgraphics@dma.mil. Please specify the title and number.

Doolittle Raid Mini Poster. This poster is 7.5x10 inches @ 300 ppi and was created by the Air Force News Agency. This poster can be provided up to 18x24 inches in size and in almost any format required upon request. Air Force Link does not provide printed posters but assistance can be provided in acquiring posters through your servicing DAPS. A PDF version for printing on office printers is also available. Requests can be made to afgraphics@dma.mil. Please specify the title and number.

Crew No. 8 (Plane #40-2242, target Tokyo): 95th Bombardment Squadron, Capt. Edward J. York, pilot; Lt. Robert G. Emmens, copilot; Lt. Nolan A. Herndon, navigator/bombardier; SSgt. Theodore H. Laban, flight engineer; Sgt. David W. Pohl, gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 8 (Plane #40-2242, target Tokyo): 95th Bombardment Squadron, Capt. Edward J. York, pilot; Lt. Robert G. Emmens, copilot; Lt. Nolan A. Herndon, navigator/bombardier; SSgt. Theodore H. Laban, flight engineer; Sgt. David W. Pohl, gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 9 (Plane #40-2203, target Tokyo): 34th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Harold F. Watson, pilot; Lt. James N. Parker Jr., copilot; Lt. Thomas C. Griffin, navigator; Sgt. Wayne M. Bissell, bombardier; TSgt. Eldred V. Scott, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 9 (Plane #40-2203, target Tokyo): 34th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Harold F. Watson, pilot; Lt. James N. Parker Jr., copilot; Lt. Thomas C. Griffin, navigator; Sgt. Wayne M. Bissell, bombardier; TSgt. Eldred V. Scott, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Navigator Lt. Thomas Griffin is shown with the rest of Crew No. 9. Also pictured are: Lt. Harold F. Watson, pilot; Lt. James N. Parker Jr., copilot; Sgt. Wayne M. Bissell, bombardier; and TSgt. Eldred V. Scott, flight engineer/gunner.
(U.S. Air Force photo)

Navigator Lt. Thomas Griffin is shown with the rest of Crew No. 9. Also pictured are: Lt. Harold F. Watson, pilot; Lt. James N. Parker Jr., copilot; Sgt. Wayne M. Bissell, bombardier; and TSgt. Eldred V. Scott, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle (center), commander of the Army Air Forces  Eighth Air Force, is surrounded by a group of U.S. flyers. (This picture was taken before his promotion to lieutenant general.)  The general took part in the first raid on Tokyo on April 18,1942, when a squadron took off from the USS Hornet in the North Pacific Ocean to bomb military installations in Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle (center), commander of the Army Air Forces Eighth Air Force, is surrounded by a group of U.S. flyers. (This picture was taken before his promotion to lieutenant general.) The general took part in the first raid on Tokyo on April 18,1942, when a squadron took off from the USS Hornet in the North Pacific Ocean to bomb military installations in Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 13 (Plane #40-2247, target Yokosuka): 37th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Edgar E. McElroy, pilot; Lt. Richard A. Knobloch, copilot; Lt. Clayton J. Campbell, navigator; MSgt. Robert C. Bourgeois, bombardier; Sgt. Adam R. Williams, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 13 (Plane #40-2247, target Yokosuka): 37th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Edgar E. McElroy, pilot; Lt. Richard A. Knobloch, copilot; Lt. Clayton J. Campbell, navigator; MSgt. Robert C. Bourgeois, bombardier; Sgt. Adam R. Williams, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 14 (Plane #40-2297, target Nagoya): 89th Reconnaissance Squadron, Maj. John A. Hilger, pilot; Lt. Jack A. Sims, copilot; Lt. James H. Macia Jr., navigator/bombardier; SSgt. Job Eierman, flight engineer; SSgt. Edwin V. Bain, gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Crew No. 14 (Plane #40-2297, target Nagoya): 89th Reconnaissance Squadron, Maj. John A. Hilger, pilot; Lt. Jack A. Sims, copilot; Lt. James H. Macia Jr., navigator/bombardier; SSgt. Job Eierman, flight engineer; SSgt. Edwin V. Bain, gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 15 (Plane #40-2267, target Nagoya): 89th Reconnaissance Squadron, Lt. Donald G. Smith, pilot; Lt. Griffith P. Williams, copilot; Lt. Howard A. Sessler, navigator/bombardier; Lt. Thomas R. White, flight engineer; Sgt. Edward J. Saylor, gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Crew No. 15 (Plane #40-2267, target Nagoya): 89th Reconnaissance Squadron, Lt. Donald G. Smith, pilot; Lt. Griffith P. Williams, copilot; Lt. Howard A. Sessler, navigator/bombardier; Lt. Thomas R. White, flight engineer; Sgt. Edward J. Saylor, gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 16 (Plane #40-2268, target Nagoya): 34th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. George Barr, navigator; Lt. William G. Farrow, pilot; Sgt. Harold A. Spatz, engineer/gunner; Lt. Robert L. Hite, copilot; Cpl. Jacob DeShazer, bombardier.
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Crew No. 16 (Plane #40-2268, target Nagoya): 34th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. George Barr, navigator; Lt. William G. Farrow, pilot; Sgt. Harold A. Spatz, engineer/gunner; Lt. Robert L. Hite, copilot; Cpl. Jacob DeShazer, bombardier.

Crew No. 2 (Plane #40-2292, target Tokyo): 37th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Travis Hoover, pilot; Lt. William N. Fitzhugh, copilot; Lt. Carl R. Wildner, navigator; Lt. Richard E. Miller, bombardier; Sgt. Douglas V. Radney, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Crew No. 2 (Plane #40-2292, target Tokyo): 37th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Travis Hoover, pilot; Lt. William N. Fitzhugh, copilot; Lt. Carl R. Wildner, navigator; Lt. Richard E. Miller, bombardier; Sgt. Douglas V. Radney, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 3 (Plane #40-2270, target Tokyo): 95th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Robert M. Gray, pilot; Lt. Jacob E. Manch, copilot; Lt. Charles J. Ozuk Jr., navigator; Sgt. Aden E. Jones, bombardier; Cpl. Leland D. Faktor, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Crew No. 3 (Plane #40-2270, target Tokyo): 95th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Robert M. Gray, pilot; Lt. Jacob E. Manch, copilot; Lt. Charles J. Ozuk Jr., navigator; Sgt. Aden E. Jones, bombardier; Cpl. Leland D. Faktor, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 4 (Plane #40-2282, target Tokyo): 95th Bombardment Squadron, front row: Lt. Everett W. Holstrom, pilot; and Lt. Lucian N. Youngblood, copilot; back row: Lt. Harry C. McCool, navigator; Sgt. Robert J. Stephens, bombardier; and Cpl. Bert M. Jordan, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Crew No. 4 (Plane #40-2282, target Tokyo): 95th Bombardment Squadron, front row: Lt. Everett W. Holstrom, pilot; and Lt. Lucian N. Youngblood, copilot; back row: Lt. Harry C. McCool, navigator; Sgt. Robert J. Stephens, bombardier; and Cpl. Bert M. Jordan, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 5 (Plane #40-2283, target Tokyo): 95th Bombardment Squadron, front row: Capt. David M. Jones, pilot; and Lt. Ross R. Wilder, copilot; back row: Lt. Eugene F. McGurl, navigator; Lt. Denver V. Truelove, bombardier; and Sgt. Joseph W. Manske, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Crew No. 5 (Plane #40-2283, target Tokyo): 95th Bombardment Squadron, front row: Capt. David M. Jones, pilot; and Lt. Ross R. Wilder, copilot; back row: Lt. Eugene F. McGurl, navigator; Lt. Denver V. Truelove, bombardier; and Sgt. Joseph W. Manske, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 1 (Plane #40-2344, target Tokyo): 34th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, pilot; Lt. Richard E. Cole, copilot; Lt. Henry A. Potter, navigator; SSgt. Fred A. Braemer, bombardier; SSgt. Paul J. Leonard, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Crew No. 1 (Plane #40-2344, target Tokyo): 34th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, pilot; Lt. Richard E. Cole, copilot; Lt. Henry A. Potter, navigator; SSgt. Fred A. Braemer, bombardier; SSgt. Paul J. Leonard, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 10 (Plane #40-2250, target Tokyo): 89th Reconnaissance Squadron, Lt. Richard O. Joyce, pilot; Lt. J. Royden Stork, copilot; Lt. Horace E. Crouch, navigator/bombardier; Sgt. George E. Larkin Jr., flight engineer; SSgt. Edwin W. Horton Jr., gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Crew No. 10 (Plane #40-2250, target Tokyo): 89th Reconnaissance Squadron, Lt. Richard O. Joyce, pilot; Lt. J. Royden Stork, copilot; Lt. Horace E. Crouch, navigator/bombardier; Sgt. George E. Larkin Jr., flight engineer; SSgt. Edwin W. Horton Jr., gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 11 (Plane #40-2249, target Yokohama): 34th Bombardment Squadron, Capt. C. Ross Greening (89th RS), pilot; Lt. Kenneth E. Reddy, copilot; Lt. Frank A. Kappeler, navigator; SSgt. William L. Birch, bombardier; Sgt. Melvin J. Gardner, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Crew No. 11 (Plane #40-2249, target Yokohama): 34th Bombardment Squadron, Capt. C. Ross Greening (89th RS), pilot; Lt. Kenneth E. Reddy, copilot; Lt. Frank A. Kappeler, navigator; SSgt. William L. Birch, bombardier; Sgt. Melvin J. Gardner, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Crew No. 12 (Plane #40-2278, target Yokohama): 37th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. William M. Bower, pilot; Lt. Thadd H. Blanton, copilot; Lt. William R. Pound Jr., navigator; TSgt. Waldo J. Bither, bombardier; SSgt. Omer A. Duquette, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Crew No. 12 (Plane #40-2278, target Yokohama): 37th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. William M. Bower, pilot; Lt. Thadd H. Blanton, copilot; Lt. William R. Pound Jr., navigator; TSgt. Waldo J. Bither, bombardier; SSgt. Omer A. Duquette, flight engineer/gunner. (U.S. Air Force photo)


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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