Thousands to attend 75th Anniversary of Doolittle Tokyo Raid

B-25's gather for 75th Anniversary of Doolittle Raid. (Photo by: WDTN/Jake Ryle)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (WDTN) — Thousands of visitors from across the country are expected to attend a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ gathering of World War II bombers.

The gathering is a precursor for a two-day event to honor the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Tokyo Raid.

Some, like Ron Anderson, flew from the west coast to see more than one-dozen bombers.

“This is a once in a lifetime thing. You might as well take part. This is history — you know?” he said.

The crowds gathered before 8 a.m. Monday on Woodman Drive. All to get a glance as the bombers landed.

You can watch the flyover live here:

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“Pretty nice. It’s a pretty cool thing seeing a big old plane like that prop driven at that. I’m used to jets. It’s kind of nostalgic. I like it,” said Wayne Dale.

Dale flew in from California for the two-day event.

Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Tokyo Raid. The mission was geared toward retribution for the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II.

The Doolittle Raiders last met in 2013 for a symbolic toast. It was an event that happened in Dayton.

Now — of the 80 who flew the mission — one remains. Lieutenant Colonel Richard Cole.

“My hats off to these guys. Because I think they’re the best of the best,” Bob Shane, a traveler from Arizona said.

On display today, more than a dozen World War II bombers.

“They’re very versatile. They’re called the Corvette of the skies,” Alison Beatty, a representative for the Yankee Air Museum in Ypsilanti, Michigan added, “It saw action in Corsica in World War II. I believe it’s one of only eight aircraft that still have combat experience for B-25s.”

The aircraft is still available for public viewing tomorrow from 9 a.m. until noon.

The planes will then flyover for a memorial service in the museum’s memorial part at 2:15 p.m.

Tuesday night, the museum will feature the film “Doolittle’s Raiders: The Final Toast”, in the Air Force Museum Theatre at 6:30 p.m.

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