Presentation of the congressional gold medal recognizing the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders of World War II fame is
scheduled for April 15 in Emancipation Hall of the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C.
Just three members of the 80 servicemen who took off in B-25 bombers
April 18, 1942, from the flight deck of the USS Hornet headed
to bomb Tokyo survive today. They are Lt. Col. Robert Hite, 95; Staff Sgt. David J. Thatcher, 93; and Lt. Col. Richard Cole, 99.
A fourth Raider still living in 2014 as the Citizens Coinage Advisory
Committee and Commission of Fine Arts reviewed medal design
recommendations, Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, passed away Jan. 28, 2015, at
As a lieutenant, Cole was Lt. Col. James H. "Jimmy"
Doolittle's co-pilot in the lead plane. The crew had to bail out as
the aircraft ran out of fuel after bombig its target in Japan and
eventually crashed in China. Doolittle, Cole, and the other three crew
members were rescued by the Chinese.
The approved designs for the medal won't be released to the public
until April 15. Bronze 1.5-inch and 3-inch duplicates of the gold
medal will be offered for sale to the public by the U.S. Mint.
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