Tester honors World War II’s “Doolittle Tokyo Raiders”

Staff Sergeant David Thatcher of Missoula one of five living raid members

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is honoring the bravery and heroism of Missoula’s David Thatcher and other members of the legendary “Doolittle Raiders” in World War II.

The Doolittle Raid consisted of 16 Air Force bombers and 80 crewmen that attacked Japan on April 18, 1942.  Led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, the bombers struck military targets in Japan before heading for China.  Many crew members were killed or captured, but the raid served as an important American morale boost early in the war.

Tester’s bipartisan resolution commemorates the Doolittle crew for its “outstanding heroism, valor, skill, and service” and specifically honors its living members.  Thatcher, a staff sergeant in World War II, is one of five living members of the Doolittle Raid. 

“The Doolittle Raiders volunteered knowing they faced uncertain fates,” said Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  “Their courage and heroism represents the best of our Greatest Generation.  Honoring their bravery and that of other veterans ensures that we never forget their immense sacrifices.”

The raid’s 16 B-25 bombers launched from the USS Hornet early in the morning on April 18 after being spotted by a Japanese patrol boat.  Due to their earlier than planned take-off, none of the planes reached their designated landing sites in China.

Tester’s resolution also recognizes the airmen’s bravery for setting an “enduring example of heroism” for the military and the nation during the uncertain early days of World War II.

Tester’s bipartisan resolution is available online HERE.

For more information about the Doolittle Raid, click HERE.