The remaining living Doolittle Tokyo Raiders will be honored April 16 to 18 during ceremonies at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Included in the ceremony is a flyover and static display of 20 or more North American B-25 bombers like those used in the raid on Japan.
There are fewer than 10 crewmembers living who took part in the raid. This is the sixty-eighth reunion of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.
The formation flight is set to take off on April 18 at 1 p.m. from the museum. Before and after the museum reunion events, the B-25s will stage out of Grimes Field in Urbana, Ohio, beginning April 15 to practice formation flights and will offer public rides and static displays. They will depart from Grimes Field on April 17.
It was April 18, 1942, when 80 men took off from an aircraft 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. They provided a boost in morale to the American public.
“This is going to be an historic event, but we are still seeking donations or corporate sponsorships, especially to cover aircraft fuel and oil costs,” said Thomas Casey, business manager for the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association.
Thanks to the sponsorship of Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, and Allied Sales Company of Austin, Texas, public admission to Grimes Field is free, with a $5 admission for ramp access. To support the Grimes Gathering, contact Thomas Casey, Doolittle Raider manager, by telephone at 941/921-7361 or by e-mail.