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Fri, Apr 19, 2013

Doolittle Raiders Attend 33rd FW Hangar Dedication

Gathering Expected To Be The Final Public Reunion Of The Remaining Squadron Members

The four surviving members of the famous Doolittle Raiders of WWII gathered for what was called their final public reunion Wednesday at Eglin AFB in Florida.

Among those at the gathering was 97-year-old Retired Lt. Col. Richard Cole, who took the controls of a vintage B-25 bomber at the reunion, according to a report from Fox News. Cole had been mission commander James Doolittle's co-pilot when 16 B-25 airplanes took off from an aircraft carrier on April 18th, 1942. The attack on Japan came just four months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

During the ceremony, Eglin officials dedicated a hangar named for surviving raider Col. Edward Saylor. After a plaque with his name on it was unveiled, Saylor spoke about his experiences in the military and with the historic Raiders.

For the ceremony, an F-35A Lightning II and a Doolittle Raider B-25 were parked side by side in the hangar.

(Pictured in USAF photo: Doolittle Raiders, Col. Dick Cole, Lt. Col. Ed Saylor and Staff Sgt. David Thatcher, salute during the National Anthem at the 33rd Fighter Wing hangar dedication.)



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