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What do you consider the Doolittle Raiders' most lasting legacy?

Originally published on Published Online: January 03, 2014 
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 Aviation History Reader Poll

The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders held their final reunion this past November, drinking a special toast to fallen comrades (see our story and guest editorial). What do you consider the Raiders' most lasting legacy, and what do we owe these men?

Share your thoughts in the comment box below.



2 Responses to “What do you consider the Doolittle Raiders' most lasting legacy?”

  1. 1
    Al Burgess says:

    It led to the emperor giving Yamato the ok to attack Midway; and losing 2/3 of their main carrier fleet. This enabled to land on Guadalcanal; and after a hard fought victory there: to start on the road to Tokyo.

  2. 2
    David Glines says:

    On the question of what the Raiders most lasting legacy is? Strategically, I believe the Raider's most lasting legacy is the results of their mission leading to the end of WWII. To train for and pull off that raid in a mere 4 1/2 months after the devastation at Pearl Harbor not only gave America and the free world a tremendous lift to national morale but most importantly set in motion the events that led to complete Allied victory. As history has revealed, it was a slap in the face to the Japanese High Command that had convinced the population Japan would never be attacked. They were compelled to completely change their offensive strategy and pull forces back to protect Japan giving the U.S. some pause to recover and lure them into the Battle of Midway creating a major defeat for Japan by sinking 4 aircraft carriers (They only had 9 carriers) Thus, the tides of war shifted against them leading to their unconditional surrender 39 months later.
    Concerning the question, what do we owe them? Collectively, they volunteered for a secret mission and were only advised there was a strong likelihood they might not return and yet no one wavered in the commitment to follow Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle. Their feat was extraordinary. Their actions lifted the nation out of darkness. They deserve the Congressional Gold Medal to honor their legacy now while there are only 4 Doolittle Raiders still living.

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