Library to Host Airmen of Fabled WWII Doolittle Raid
Daring Mission Over Japan Raised American Morale, Made Aviation History
April 10, 2008
McDermott Library Special Collections will welcome WWII’s legendary Doolittle Tokyo Raiders on Saturday, April 19, as part of the group’s 2008 reunion.
Survivors of the daring bomber raid and guests will visit the library’s Jimmy Doolittle Archives on the third floor of McDermott Library in one of the History of Aviation Collection’s most prestigious events since the 1985 appearance of the raid’s planner and leader, Gen. Jimmy Doolittle.
|Gen. James “Jimmy” Doolittle led 16 B-25 bombers from the USS Hornet to bomb Japan.|
The Raiders will also attend a luncheon in their honor with university dignitaries and U.S. Rep Sam Johnson.
A public forum scheduled for 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the UT Dallas Conference Center will feature:
- A talk by Raiders historian and author C.V. Glines.
- A panel discussion and question and answer session.
- Autograph session.
In addition, the United States Postal Service will offer first-class postage stamps and a pictorial cancellation that can be applied to commemorative envelopes showing the Raiders emblem in color. The cancellation shows the outline of a Mitchell B-25 B bomber flown by the Raiders and the inscription, “UTD Station, April 19, 2008, Richardson, Texas, 75083.”
The UT Dallas Bookstore will also be selling books about the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.
On April 18, 1942, 80 volunteer aviators led by Doolittle took off in 16 twin-engine B-25 Mitchell bombers from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on a one-way mission to bomb Japan. The crews bombed targets in Yokohama, Nagoya, Kobe, Osaka and Tokyo in the first American strike on the Japanese mainland. Although the damage was minimal, the raid gave America a much-needed morale boost in the bleak early days of World War II.
Seventy-three of the aviators survived the raid. Officials are expecting nine of them and several widows of Raiders to attend.
Glines, the official biographer of the Doolittle Raiders and a regular member of the Special Collections aviation volunteers, will speak about the Raiders and their history.
The reunion is April 16-20. The host organizations are the Frontiers of Flight Museum, Love Field; the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison Airport; and the History of Aviation Collection, UTD.
U.S. Air Force personnel will coordinate the delivery of the Raider 80 silver goblets. Each reunion the Raiders hold a ceremony to honor those who have died during the year. Goblets bearing the names of the departed are turned over. The goblets will be on display at the private luncheon sponsored by Brinker International in the UT Dallas McDermott Suite before the Conference Center event.
The Doolittle collection at UTD features artifacts, papers, books, photographs and personal effects.
A special part of the McDermott Library's History of Aviation Collection preserves artifacts, papers and photographs pertaining to the Doolittle Raid. The motto on the squadron patch translates as “Ever into danger.”