One last toast: Doolittle Raiders set final ceremony for Nov. 9

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by diehardgator1, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. diehardgator1
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    diehardgator1 Well-Known Member

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    The crews that took land based bombers and took off from a carrier to bomb The interior of Japan on a mission they all knew they did not have the fuel to make a round trip. They became known as Doolittles Raiders. These men are all in their late 90's People close to this event should line the streets and pay tribute to these brave men.


    "CINCINNATI — The last of the Doolittle Raiders from World War II will make their final toast together in a Nov. 9 ceremony at the national Air Force museum in southwest Ohio.

    An Air Force museum spokesman told The Associated Press on Thursday that all four remaining survivors of the 1942 bombing attack on Japan plan to participate. All are in their 90s.

    By tradition, the Raiders reunite each year and toast "those who have gone" from the original 80. They use special silver goblets with engraved names. For years, the plan was for the last two survivors to make the final toast. However, after Maj. Thomas Griffin of Cincinnati died in February at age 96, it was decided to have a final ceremony this year because of the survivors' advancing ages

    http://www.airforcetimes.com/articl...st-Doolittle-Raiders-set-final-ceremony-Nov-9
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  2. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    These men are all true American heroes.
  3. diehardgator1
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    diehardgator1 Well-Known Member

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    Yes they are the ones who should be invited to the WH instead of some of these sports teams
  4. malligator
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    malligator Well-Known Member

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    I'd sure as hell attend if I was in that part of the country.
  5. The_Graygator
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    The_Graygator Well-Known Member

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    God Bless each and every one of them. They flew off the deck of the U.S.S. Hornet on April 18, 1942 (I'm recalling that from memory as I type, could be the 16th), when a Japanese fishing trawler reported their position and they had to launch several hours earlier than they wanted to. They wanted to get about 200 miles closer than they were.

    Some of those pilots captured were tried for war crimes by the Japanese and tortured and executed too, but hey, bombing Pearl Harbor and killing 2,400 U.S. servicemen and over 100 civilians wasn't a war crime. Go figure.

    Interesting note, the Doolittle Raid occurred in April, as did the shooting down of Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamato on April 16, 1943, and then there was the deaths of both FDR on April (12? 14?) 1945, and then the suicide of Hitler on April 30 of that year too.

    Interesting month during WW II.
  6. DarthG8RV3
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    DarthG8RV3 Twisted and Evil Gator VIP Member

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    They trained for this raid here in Florida at Eglin AFB .
  7. egator1245
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    egator1245 Premium Member

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    God bless them.
  8. oragator1
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    oragator1 Premium Member

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    Imagine being told you are basically flying a suicide mission, then having to take off early because of possibly being spotted on top of that, and not only doing it, but many coming back alive. Most people who weren't alive at the time will never know what a morale boost that raid was for this country. We didn't inflict major damage, in fact we probably hastened Japan's creation of a domestic defense system. But this was only 4 months after Pearl, to be able to say we hit back on the Japanese mainland, however minor in the hand scheme told the American people that we weren't taking Pearl lying down and there would be revenge. It was also the first time the Japanese had been attacked, so it was a shock to them too. It's hard to really overstate how important it was on both sides of the pacific.
    But the untold story of the raid is the price the Chinese paid for helping our airmen. Some estimates say several hundred thousand of them were killed in the search by the Japanese. One plane I think made it to Russia too, and unlike the Chinese, the Russians threw them into confinement.

    I have said this before, but honestly to me one of the worst things about time passing as it does is losing this generation. They survived a depression, won an unimaginable war, created the greatest economic powerhouse the world has ever seen, and all with a level of humility today's society can't relate to. Their numbers dwindle (even an 18 year old in 1941 is 90 this year) but what they did should never be forgotten.
  9. egator1245
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    egator1245 Premium Member

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    The Greatest Generation.
  10. northgagator
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    northgagator Well-Known Member

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    What is really amazing is that these guys took on an successfully execute a mission that was never meant to be.

    1, Doolittle and his crew were me members of the USAAC (United States Army Air Corp) but they they launched their raid from the deck of a US Navy aircraft carrier.
    2,Almost all raids are designed to be round trip. This trip at least for the B-25's was one way.
    3, Prior to being selected for this raid the crews had trained on take offs from a land based runway. The take offs for the raid were from a moving carrier flight deck.
    4, Take off distance for a fully loaded B-25 with no wind was 800 feet. The launch area on the Hornet was 300 feet. This conflict in requirements was resolve by pointing the Hornet into the wind and some take off techniques taught by Navy pilots. These two items improved the B-25's take off distance to 300 feet.
    5, There was training for the take offs but they were on a land base runway at Eglin, Florida. The take off from the Hornet would be the first launch from a carrier for the crews if the B-25's.
    6, The B-25's could not be stored in the Hornet's hanger below the flight deck. All of the B-25's were loaded onto the aft end of the flight deck and tied down. The B-25's were positioned in the order they were to take off in.
    7, The morning of the launch was far from ideal.There was gray skies, rain, 20 knot wind gust, and at tines waves were crashing over the bow of the Hornet.

    In spite if all of these challenges all 16 B-25's were successfully launched in one hour. That is roughly 4 minutes per launch.


    It was stated earlier that one of the B-25's made it to Vladivostok (Far East USSR). Back the the Russians were our allies but they did not play nice with us. At the time the USSR maintained a neutral status with the war in the Pacific. When taking in escaped POW's or stranded military personnel there were neutrality rules to be followed. The B-25 crew could not be directly handed over to the USA. Nor could the plane be returned until the end of the war. The USSR could of turned a blind eye or cut some red tape to get the crew back to the USA but they deliberately dragged their feet. There was two reasons for the foot dragging. One reason was to get as much information out of the crew as they could (technology and procedures). The other reason was to tweak or piss us off because they could. There was a way to get around the neutrality restrictions in returning the B-25 crew. The crew was supposed to be free to move about in the USSR. They were even allowed to leave the USSR to an adjacent neutral country. When the Russians were finished toying with the B-25 crew they were transported to the USSR-Iran border.from there they freely crossed over into Iran. From their they made it to the British embassy and were transported England. At that point they joined up with the ASAAC and resumed their combat roles.

    The B-25 and its crew was not the only US plane to get detained by the USSR in WWII. Three B-29's had to make emergency landings in the Vladivostok (Far East USSR) area. Three B-29's and its crews met a similar fate. In this case the crews were interrogate to great lengths (13 months) before being released. The Russians took apart two of the planes to glean the technology. They kept the other plane to serve as a benchmark and to be an instruction aide for their project. The results of that project was their own version of the B-29.

    B-29 technology was not the only thing the USSR stole from us.


    Vladivostok (Far East USSR)[/UR]
  11. DaveFla
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    DaveFla Well-Known Member

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    Almost every daylight bombing mission launched from England during WW2 was like this. Can you imagine? Those kids facing the reality that the odds were against their surviving the mission doing it over and over again until the odds caught up with them?

    Heros, each and every damn one of them...
  12. DarthG8RV3
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    DarthG8RV3 Twisted and Evil Gator VIP Member

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  13. toon66
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    toon66 VIP Member

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    Correct. The planes were so slow as they took off, they actually dropped below the deck and out of sight , almost skimming the sea, before gaining lift and getting truly airborne.

    These men are heroes and should be invited to the WH as another poster stated. At least, POTUS should visit this ceremony.

    God bless them and many thanks for fighting for our freedom.
  14. toon66
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    toon66 VIP Member

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    The deck was so short that the bombers barely gained enough speed to get airborne. As the left the deck, they actually would drop below it and completely out of view, barely skimming the seas, until getting enough lift to allow their ascent.

    Talk about true American heroes embarking on a mission against all odds during an incredibly bleak time in our history. The thing is they knew they inflict minimal damage, at best. The goal was to show the Japanese that they could be targeted on their mainland by an enemy.

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