Skip to comments.‘Doolittle Raiders’ receive Congressional Gold Medal
Posted on 05/26/2014 10:58:49 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
The weather over Arlington National Cemetery was sunny and clear, similar to the day in 1942 when Richard Cole helped change the course of American history as one of James H. Doolittles Raiders during World War II.
As he stood before the grave of his former commander, the 98-year-old ex-pilot who helped stage a daring attack on Japan that lifted American spirits at a crucial time said the memory is bittersweet.
Cole flew in from his home in Texas to be the grand marshal in Mondays Memorial Day Parade in Washington and to accept a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of the Doolittle Raiders a group of 80 U.S. airmen whose mission into Japan on April 18, 1942, inspired Americans reeling over the Pearl Harbor attack and other Japanese victories.
Lt. Col. Richard Cole, a member of the "Doolittle Raiders."
As part of the dwindling ranks of surviving World War II veterans, and one of only four surviving Raiders, he said the honor was joyful but also a bit lonely.
Youre here to pay your respects to him, but at the same time, you wish they were all still here, Cole said after saluting Doolittles tombstone Friday and those of some other Raiders buried nearby.
Of the 16 million Americans who fought in World War II, about 1.5 million are still alive, according to the Arlington-based American Veterans Center.
The 80 U.S. airmen who volunteered for the Doolittle Raid are giants among that generation of veterans, even though the popular memory of their exploits is fading as the drama of more recent wars eclipses their significance.
Its not a well-known story anymore, said James C. Roberts, president of the American Veterans Center, which is helping to coordinate a documentary film about the Raiders.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Congressional Gold Medal
A Congressional Gold Medal is an award bestowed by the United States Congress; the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian awards in the United States. It is awarded to persons “who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after the achievement.” American citizenship is not a requirement.
Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. The medal is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S. Congress to U.S. military personnel only. There are three versions of the medal, one for the Army, one for the Navy, and one for the Air Force. Personnel of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive the Navy version.
Why didn’t they get the Medal of Honor instead?
Thanks for posting.
Today’s Congress isn’t fit to shine the shoes of the Doolittle Raiders.
Even though it's in black n white and the special effects are not so hot, some of the flying scenes and escape scenes will curl your toes.
“Why didnt they get the Medal of Honor instead?”
Because that has (and should have) an incredibly high bar. I would say that simply surviving in any type of condition an act of incredible self-sacrifice and valor is a big negative towards getting one. That’s how tough it is.
The good news is, that once you have one, everyone in the military up to and including the President has to salute you first.
Well... the Medal of Honor is presented by the President of the US, and he's busy hiding from the VA scandal.
From what I have read about the Doolittle Raiders they should have all received MOH.
Not true. It is customary to render the salute out of respect, but it is not required.
The Army pulling off the impossible.
The Army pulling off the impossible? Try this:
Watch for it on your local PBS lineup. It’s a fantastic story that was kept secret until about 10 years ago.