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 70 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 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 World War II 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 at 941-921-7361 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Larry Kelley, B-25 coordinator, email@example.com or 410-991-2356.
For more information: NationalMuseum.af.mil