Salem couple's effort to honor Doolittle Tokyo Raiders is gaining momentum
The awards are one of the highest civilian honors given in the United States and are typically given to individuals whose actions affected American history and culture.
This month marks the 72nd anniversary of their mission, in which 16 B-25 bombers, each one carrying five servicemen, took flight from the deck of the USS Hornet with the intention of dropping bombs over Japan before landing in an area of China that had remained free.
The surviving Raiders are: Ohio native Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, the co-pilot of Crew No. 1; Montana native Lt. Col. Edward D. Saylor, an engineer with Crew No. 15; Montana native Sgt. David J. Thatcher, an engineer gunner with Crew No. 7; and Texas native Lt. Col. Robert J. Hite, co-pilot with Crew No. 16 and former prisoner of war.
Brian Anderson, who serves as the group's Sergeant At Arms, said efforts to honor Cole, Saylor, Thatcher and Hite began last summer.
New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Granite State Congresswomen Carol Shea Porter and Annie Kuster are support of the legislation.
As of this week, 309 congressmen and congresswomen are supporting the bill.
"Hopefully the process will move forward quickly once that happens," he added. "And I've already been told that I'll be going to the White House for the awards ceremony."
Those with questions regarding the pending legislation may contact Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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