As a young lieutenant at sea aboard the USS Hornet, Army Air Force pilot Richard E. Cole didn’t know where he and his crew of 79 airmen were headed with 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers tied to the deck of a Navy aircraft carrier in the Pacific.
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Three of four surviving Doolittle Raiders will gather Saturday at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force for a final toast to commemorate their fallen crewmembers on the historic April 18, 1942 bombing attack on Japan. The museum has planned a series of events to mark the occasion.
1:15 p.m. - Spectators line the museum driveway for the “grand arrival” of the Doolittle Raiders.
2 p.m. - Memorial service in the the museum’s memorial park.
2:30 p.m. - B-25 flyover.
6 p.m. - The final toast, an invitation-only event. The Doolittle Raiders will conclude a decades-old tradition of a cognac toast to their fallen airmen as they drink out of silver goblets engraved with their names. The once private ceremony will be broadcast on the Pentagon Channel and livestreamed on the museum’s website at www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.
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