Doolittle Tokyo Raiders planning 70th anniversary reunion and historical aviation event
The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders are in the final stages of planning their reunion commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Raid. The reunion will be held at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, April 17-20, 2012.
The reunion will include autograph sessions, a memorial service at the museum, as well as a public lunch and banquet.
All five of the living Doolittle Tokyo Raiders are able to travel and plan to be on-hand for the reunion events.
Also, for the first time in seventy years, Chinese survivors or members of their families who helped save the Raiders will travel to the United States and be special guests at the reunion. Surviving sailors and officers of the USS Hornet, the aircraft carrier that sailed them to their take off point, will also be present.
According to National Museum of the U.S. Air Force director, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson, it is an honor and privilege for the museum to be selected as the site for the 2012 gathering.
"As 'the keepers of their stories,' we feel there is no better location than the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force to continue to tell the story of the Doolittle Raid, said Hudson. "The museum's mission is to educate current and future generations about the rich aviation history of the U.S. Air Force, and to preserve and portray the stories of men and women who have selflessly served their nation as Airmen, just as the Doolittle Raiders did nearly 70 years ago."
As a special tribute to the Raiders during the reunion, efforts are underway by the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association, Inc. to secure sponsorship funding to fly in and land 25 B-25 Mitchell Bombers on the runway behind the museum. This aviation event would be the largest gathering of B-25s since WWII and would surpass the 17 B-25s that were able to be present at the Raider Reunion at the museum in 2010.
Those interested in helping to make this flight of B-25 bombers possible should contact Tom Casey with the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association, Inc. at (941) 921-7361 or by email at email@example.com or Larry Kelley, B-25 coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-991-2356. (Federal endorsement is not implied.)
The Air Force Museum Foundation is also seeking sponsorship support for the 70th Anniversary Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Reunion activities at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Those interested in helping to make this event possible should contact Lin Erickson, Chief Development Officer of the Air Force Museum Foundation, at 937-656-9258 or email@example.com.
Additional information on the reunion including instructions on how to purchase lunch and dinner tickets will be made available closer to the event on the museum's website at www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Street, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission and parking are free.
Article by Rob Bardua, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force