Friday, September 5, 2014

. Doolittle Raider David Thatcher on Eve of 70th Anniversary in 2012

From the April 2, 2012, Helena (Montana) Independent Record "Missoulian 1 of 5 Doolittle Raiders on eve of 70th anniversary" by Kim Briggeman.

The Doolittle Raiders have always received a lot of media attention, especially back in 2012 when this article was written over two years ago.

The impact of their April 18, 1942, raid over Japan on America was huge.

David Thatcher, of Missoula, Montana, was an engineer on one of the sixteen B-25s, each with a five-man crew that took off from the USS Hornet, 600 miles east of Japan.  He was one of two raiders to receive a Silver Star for rescuing his four crew mates after a water crash landing in Japanese territory.

At 91, in 2012, Thatcher is the youngest raider.  Other Raiders still alive in 2012 were Dick Cole of Texas, age 96; Tom Griffin of Cincinnati, 95; Bobby Hite of Nashville, Tennessee and Ed Saylor of Puyallup, Washington, 91.

All five planned on being at Dayton, Ohio, April 17-19 for the 70th anniversary at Wright-Patterson AFB.

David Thatcher was born in Bridger in 1921 and later flew 26 more missions in the European Theater.

UPDATE:  There are now just four Raiders remaining after the death of Tom Griffin in 2013.

--GreGen

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