Congressional Gold Medal Presented to Doolittle Raiders

House and Senate leaders on Wednesday presented the Congressional Gold Medal to the Doolittle Raiders during a ceremony in the US Capitol attended by dignitaries and guests, including AFA leadership. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) handed over the medal, the highest civilian award that Congress can bestow, to Jack Hudson, director of the Air Force’s National Museum in Dayton, Ohio. Hudson accepted the medal on behalf of the 80 Doolittle Raiders, only two of whom are still living: retired Lt. Col. Dick Cole and former SSgt. David Thatcher. The Congressional Gold Medal recognizes the Raiders’ outstanding heroism and service to the country for their daring bombing raid on Japan on April 18, 1942. The attack significantly boosted American morale at a time the nation was still reeling from Japan’s strike on Pearl Harbor just four months before. Then-Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle led the group. The medal is “recognition that the Raiders never sought for themselves,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in his remarks. He led efforts in Congress to secure the Raiders’ medal. “Thank you for what you did for this country. Because of you, we live in a free and grateful nation,” said Brown. On Saturday, the 73rd anniversary of the raid, the Raiders’ Congressional Gold Medal will go on permanent display in the National Museum. (Link to video of ceremony) (For more, read Doolittle’s Raid and Mission Accomplished from Air Force Magazine’s archives, along with A Fitting Honor from Wingman Magazine.)