Doolittle Raiders events sold out

Tickets for the April 19 luncheon and banquet and April 20 luncheon with the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders during their upcoming reunion have been sold out.

Those who mailed in order forms that were not able to be processed will be notified by phone and their payment will be returned, said officials with the National Museum of the Air Force.

These special activities are part of the events planned as the Raiders commemorate the 70th anniversary of their raid on Japan during a reunion April 17-20 at the museum.

Reunion activities will give the public the opportunity to celebrate these World War II aviation heroes. On April 18, 1942, these 80 men achieved the unimaginable when they took off from an aircraft carrier on a top secret mission. Led by Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, these men came to be known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.

Other public events during the reunion include two autograph sessions, a memorial service and B-25 flyover. In addition, the film “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” will be shown in the museum’s Carney Auditorium on April 18. The full reunion schedule, including event times, is available here.

At this time, all five of the living Doolittle Tokyo Raiders — Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole; Lt. Col. Robert L. Hite; Lt. Col. Edward J. Saylor; Maj. Thomas C. Griffin and Master Sgt. David J. Thatcher — are able to travel and plan to be on-hand for the reunion events. Others scheduled to attend the reunion include retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Allen Josey, who was an electrician on the aircraft carrier Hornet when the Raiders took off on their mission, and Hu Dixian of Zhejiang, China. Dixian is the daughter of Liu Li Senlin, who aided Doolittle Tokyo Raider crew number two.

As a special tribute to the Raiders during the reunion, the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association, Inc. is working to secure enough sponsorship funding to fly in and land 25 B-25 Mitchell bombers on the runway behind the museum. If their efforts are successful, this aviation event would be the largest gathering of B-25s since World War II. Those interested in helping to make this flight of B-25 bombers possible should visit, or contact Tom Casey with the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association, Inc. at 941- 921-7361 or or Larry Kelley at 410- 991-2356 or



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