The story of the Doolittle Raiders is one for the ages. After Japan succeeded in a vicious attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor, the United States hatched a plan for an immediate retaliation. The plan called for pilots to fly a secret mission over Tokyo to drop bombs on strategic targets. The only problem was that in those days bombers could take off from the carrier but they could not land. It would be a one way mission in which pilots would have to drop their payload in Tokyo and then try to land in China and escape to safety. It was high stakes and very dangerous. The mission ended up being a success and was a significant boost for Americans still in shock over the attacks at Pearl Harbor. The Doolittle Raiders—so named after the commander of the mission—have been American heroes ever since.
The surviving Doolittle Raiders have been meeting annually ever since the mission. This year, however, marks their last meeting. NBC New reports above.