Five of the eight surviving members of the B-25 raid on Tokyo about four months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and brought the United States into World War II will be together April 17 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton.
The five are members of the famed Doolittle Raid led by then Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle from the flight deck of a U.S. carrier several hundred miles from Japan. While the raid did little damage, it was a blow to Japanese Imperialism and a gigantic boost to American morale, which had been beaten down after the Japanese sneak attack on our naval forces in Hawaii.
The attack became the subject of the war propaganda movie "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" and so embarrassed the Japanese navy that it launched an ill-fated attack on Midway Island that was thoroughly defeated by American aircraft carriers.
The five Doolittle heroes will be featured at the largest gathering of B-25s since the war when about 20 of the bombers land at the air base where the public can get an up-close view of one of the workhorses of air combat during World War II.
The B-17 and the B-25 were very special planes during the war and those who flew in them helped turn the tide of battle in the European and the Pacific theatres.
It is very cool that five of those who made the daring raid will be together again and reunited with the type of planes that struck the Japanese heart when America badly needed heroes.