Community members joined veterans aboard the USS Hornet on Tuesday to honor the memory of the men who joined Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle on his April 18, 1942, raid on Japan. Kelly Estes, whose great-uncle Sgt. Donald Fitzmaurice lost his life during the raid, addressed those gathered for the ceremony (below).
Alameda Naval Air Museum’s (ANAM) motto — “Come see history in your own backyard” — will have special meaning this Saturday, April 1. The museum invites everyone young and old to visit Alameda Point, where they can look to the skies around 11:45 a.m. to witness a B-25 flying over the former Naval Air Station. The historical aircraft is making its appearance to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the departure of the USS Hornet CV-8 from Alameda Naval Air Station on April 1, 1942, to begin the Doolittle Raid.
Doolittle’s copilot died in San Antonio, Tex., April 9
The sad news that Richard “Dick” Cole died on April 9 at the age of 103 marked the passing of the last of the “Doolittle Raiders.”
Cole literally had a front-row seat next to Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle as the copilot in the No.1 bomber. Doolittle and Cole joined navigator Lt. Henry A. Potter, bombardier SSgt. Fred A. Braemer and engineer gunner SSgt. Paul J. Leonard as the first of the raid’s 16 B-25s to fly over Japan and the first to drop a bomb load — four incendiaries aimed at a large factory.
The Alameda Naval Air Museum is commemorating the 74th anniversary of the Doolittle Raiders with a history walk, lecture and lunch on Saturday, April 2.
The event is open to the public. It will kick off at 10 a.m. and finish by about 2 p.m. Visitors will begin with registration at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m. they will depart for the runways, via caravan or bike, where they will be updated on the Veteran’s Administration plans for a VA Hospital and Columbarium and learn about the endangered Least Terns that nest on the old runways.