“Forgotten Hollywood”- 70 Years Over Tokyo…

Posted on April 9, 2012 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   Four days of celebration are planned on April 17th -20th at the National Museum of the US Air Force near Dayton, Ohio to remember the bombing raid over Tokyo. Led by Lt. Col. James Doolittle, it helped change the course of World War II. The invited guests include five surviving members of the mission (all in their 90s), survivors or relatives of the USS Hornet aircraft carrier crew that launched them, and Chinese villagers who helped rescue bombers after the raid.

   A celebratory ritual will be the highlight on Wednesday to mark the exact day of the mission. Eighty goblets will be involved, with 75 turned upside-down to remember the dead; while the remaining five will raise their drinks of cognac to the air. This tradition was started by Doolittle just before his death.

   The bombing mission was suggested as a retaliation to the events at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. The suicide raid lifted the morale of Americans back home, which encouraged  civilians to help develop our military arsenal, and sparked the increase of War Bonds purchases. The participants were given very little chance of survival, since B-25 bombers couldn’t hold enough fuel for a return to carriers at sea. Crash-landings along the beaches of China were the only option for escape.

   Several films have been made to chronicle the lives of those involved. Thirty Seconds over Tokyo was produced in 1944, and starred Spencer Tracy as Jimmy Doolittle; Van Johnson as Tad Lawson (whose story was adapted in a screenplay), Robert Walker, Don DeFore, Robert Mitchum, and Phyllis Thaxter. The Great Escape tells the story of Air Force bombers who were shot down over Germany and placed in concentration camps. Steve McQueen’s character was based on a real life participant of the original Tokyo raid.

   In a future ceremony, the last two Raiders living will make a final toast to remember what they accomplished in 1942. They will sip from cognac – vintage 1896 – the year Doolittle was born. At that time, the mission will finally end in the minds of the survivors and their relatives.

Until next time>                                “never forget”

This entry was posted on Monday, April 9th, 2012 at 1:26 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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