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updated: 11/9/2013 7:18 PM

Doolittle Raiders make final toast

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  • Three of the four surviving members of the 1942 Tokyo raid led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, left to right, David Thatcher, Edward Saylor, and Richard Cole, pose Saturday next to a monument marking the raid.

      Three of the four surviving members of the 1942 Tokyo raid led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, left to right, David Thatcher, Edward Saylor, and Richard Cole, pose Saturday next to a monument marking the raid.
    Associated Press

  • Thirty members of Jimmy Doolittle's Tokyo Raiders pose for a group picture in front of a B-25J bomber in Torrance, Calif., as they gather for a reunion.

      Thirty members of Jimmy Doolittle's Tokyo Raiders pose for a group picture in front of a B-25J bomber in Torrance, Calif., as they gather for a reunion.
    Associated Press/April 17, 1987

 
Associated Press

DAYTON, Ohio -- The last of the Doolittle Raiders have made their final toast to comrades who died in or since their daring bombing attack on Japan 71 years ago.

Raising specially engraved silver goblets with a bottle of 1896 cognac saved for the occasion, three of four surviving Raiders paid their tribute in a Saturday evening ceremony at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio. The fourth was unable to attend for health reasons.

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The 1942 mission by 80 airmen is credited with rallying Americans and knocking the Japanese off stride.

The museum says as many as 10,000 people turned out for events through the day, including a memorial service and B-25 bomber flyover. Hundreds including family members of deceased Raiders were at the invitation-only toast ceremony.

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