WASHINGTON (NNS) — U.S. Navy contributions to the Doolittle Raid were honored during a reception and medal presentation ceremony at the U.S. Capitol’s Russell Senate Office Building April 15.
The event followed the formal presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on behalf of the Doolittle Raiders at the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall.
Brian Anderson of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association presented Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, deputy chief of naval operations warfare systems, a certificate and a bronze replica of the Congressional Medal on behalf of the Navy at the event.
“The Doolittle Raid showcased the innovation of those Sailors aboard USS Hornet (CV 8) to help achieve the impossible,” Aucoin said.
Seventy-three years ago U.S. Army Air Corps B-25 bomber aircraft, led by Lt. Col. James Doolittle, successfully launched from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV 8). The subsequent bombing raid over Tokyo provided a much-needed boost in morale on the homefront for a nation still reeling in the aftermath of Dec. 7, 1941.
The raid marked a first for aviation history – no aircraft that size had ever launched from the deck of a Navy warship. It also signaled a major shift in the Japanese war strategy – calling for a reallocation of assets to protect the mainland. Less than two months later U.S. forces would capture a crucial victory at the Battle of Midway, turning the tide of the war in the Pacific.