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Special Event-The Doolittle Raid
On Saturday, April 17, the museum will open early for a special presentation on the Doolittle Raid. This one-hour event will be held at 9am in the Westpac Restoration Hangar located on the museum campus.
At a time early in WWII, when America had suffered set back after discouraging set back, Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle pulled together an all-volunteer team to train for a one-way mission to bomb Japan. Sixteen B-25 crews were selected to fly off the deck of an aircraft carrier to bomb targets in Tokyo and four other cities. The aircraft were too large to return and land on the carrier deck, so once they were in the air, there was no turning back. After dropping their bombs, the aircrews flew their planes westward into China and Russia where most of them crash landed or bailed out.
Not all crewmembers survived the mission, and all of the aircraft were lost. But the Doolittle Raid demonstrated America’s ability to bomb the Japanese mainland. It humiliated the Japanese high command, forcing them to shift scarce military resources away from the front lines to protect the homeland. And the mission gave the US a badly needed morale boost in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor four months earlier.
The story of the Doolittle Raid will be presented by Dr. David Schall, MD, Col. USAF (ret.). Dr. Schall is a 37-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a certified Flight Surgeon who has actively studied World War II history throughout his career. As part of his research, he has interviewed numerous veterans from WWII, including some of the Doolittle Raiders. He is currently working on a book about the Flight Surgeon who flew as a crewmember on the Doolittle Raid.
The presentation will be made in front of the museum’s own B-25, “In the Mood”, which has commemorated the Doolittle Raid in numerous ceremonies including five launches from the decks of US Navy aircraft carriers. “In the Mood” will be flown following the presentation, subject to weather conditions and runway availability.
The schedule for the event is as follows:
8:30 am Doors Open
9:00 am Presentation
9:30 am B-25 Walk-Around and Start-Up
9:45 am B-25 Taxi and Take-Off
For more information contact the museum’s Front Desk at 719 637-7559.
Read More about the North American B-25 Mitchell