Orders in hand, Navy Capt. Marc A. Mitscher, USS Hornet skipper, chats with Lt. Col. James Doolittle, attack group leader of the Army Air Forces. The group of fliers, in coordination between the two services, carried the battle of the Pacific to the heart of the Japanese empire with a daring raid on military targets in major Japanese cities. The USS Hornet carried the 16 North American B-25 bombers to within take-off distances of the Japanese Islands. (U.S. Navy photo via Wikimedia Commons)
In long overdue recognition, Doolittle Tokyo Raiders of WWII have been honored with a Congressional Gold Medal. Bestowed for their tremendous valor and sacrifice at a pivotal point in our military history, it is one of our nation's highest awards.
Signed into legislation by President Barack Obama during an Oval Office ceremony, May 23, 2014, the bill commemorates 80 volunteers who willingly sacrificed their lives in the U.S. retaliatory response to Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.
The daring and dangerous air raid over Tokyo by the Doolittle Raiders on April 18, 1942, in launching bombers from a carrier deck in a maneuver never previously attempted, greatly boosted American and Allied morale and turned the tide in the Pacific War. The courage and commitment displayed by these airmen, in the face of almost insurmountable odds and sacrifice, is a testament to the service of our veterans.