UPDATE: Leaders from the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate presented the Congressional Gold Medal to the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders April 15.
DAYTON, Ohio—Viewers from around the world will be able to watch live as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders receive the highest civilian honor the U.S. Congress can bestow, according to an announcement by the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
On Wednesday, April 15 at 3 p.m., House and Senate leaders will gather in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center’s Emancipation Hall to present a Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders’ outstanding heroism and service during World War II. National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Director Lt. Gen. John “Jack” Hudson will accept the medal on behalf of the Raiders.
The event will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.speaker.gov/live. (UPDATE: The recorded video is online here.)
“It is a tremendous privilege to be invited to accept the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders,” Hudson said in the announcement. “The medal is a well-deserved honor for these amazing World War II heroes.”
On April 18, the 73rd anniversary of the raid, the medal will be presented to the National Museum by one of the two surviving Raiders, Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” E. Cole, co-pilot of Crew No. 1, during a ceremony at the museum. The other surviving Raider, Staff Sgt. David J. Thatcher, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 7, is also expected to attend.
Congressman Mike Turner, Air Force Materiel Commander Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger, and Hudson will participate in the event at the museum, along with a special video tribute from Brown. Tickets for the ceremony are no longer available, but it will be broadcast live at 6 p.m. at www.af.mil/live.aspx and www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.
The medal will be on permanent display at the museum following the ceremony as part of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders diorama which features a North American B-25 on the simulated deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet.
Seventy-three years ago, 80 men achieved took off from the carrier on a top secret mission to bomb Japan. These men, led by Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, came to be known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.
The Air Force Museum Theatre will screen “The Doolittle Raid: A Mission that Changed the War” with guest speaker Cindy Chal, daughter of Cole, on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18 at 4 pm each day. Chal will speak following the 60-minute film.
The Air Force Museum Store will also offer book signings Friday with Stan Cohen, author of Destination Tokyo, and Saturday with Cohen and authors James M. Scott, Target Tokyo, and Frank L. Goldstein, The Last Reunion, 71st Doolittle Raiders Anniversary Reunion.