By Attorney Dan Vu
Last April, with only four living Doolittle Raiders still living, the men decided to hold their final reunion at Fort Walton Beach, Florida. They chose this location since it was where their famous mission began. The Doolittle Raiders trained at Fort Walton Beach to take off in B-25 Bombers on short practice runways of less than 500 feet. They would need this training to take off from the flight deck of their aircraft carrier, the USS Hornet.
The daring mission was to bomb Japan itself at a time when our country was in its darkest hours, reeling from the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Also, the United States continued to suffer losses in the Philippines. The raid was a strategic success, since it required Japan to re-allocate its resources to defend its homeland and it also gave the the United States a much need morale boost.
Of the 80 men who took part in the mission, 69 survived the mission and 62 survived the war. Today four are living and three of the four were healthy enough to make the reunion.
In 2010 the Doolittle Raiders held their reunion at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base and Museum Center near Dayton, Ohio. For those of you local to our Monroe and Sidney Office, I encourage you to go see the Wright Patterson Air Force Museum to learn more about the raiders and to see in person some of their memorabilia.
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