Saturday, May 11, 2013

Doolittle Raiders Wrap Up Last Mission-- Part 2: "We Just Did What We Had to Do"

"At the time of the raid, you know the war was on and it was just a mission we went on, we were lucky enough to survive it but it didn't seem like that big of a deal at the time," said Edward Saylor.  I don't know, taking off from the short flight deck of an aircraft carrier, something people didn't think Army bombers could do, is something in my book.

Sixteen planes, loaded with one-ton bombs took off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, knowing that they had just enough fuel to drop their loads and high-tail it for China and hopefully safety.  Of course, there would be no way they could land back on the ship.

Richard Cole said, "We were all pretty upbeat about it.  We didn't have any bad thoughts about what was going to happen.  We just did what we had to do"  Cole was James Doolittle's co-pilot.

The reunion was a week-long event

Thomas Carey, business manager for the Raiders said that the four survivors have decided that because of age and health issues, they can no longer keep up with the demands of public appearances.  "Their mission ends here in Fort Walton Beach on Saturday night, but their legacy starts then."

The Greatest generation.  --GreGen

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