Chris G wrote:
I've been told that 30 Seconds Over Tokyo is not the best book to read on the subject. It was one of my favorite books growing up.
30 SECONDS was written (and ghosted by Robert Considine), less than a year after the raid. Much was not known, some things were not to be revealed yet. But it is how I first learned about these heroes, and along with GUADALCANAL DIARY, was the start of my collecting books on WWII. Even before my mother told me that her family had known the bomb/nav on #10. My copy is signed by 34 of them, whom I met, and one additional signature laid in.
That is awesome man. Congrats.
Nothing to congratulate me for. I was greatly humbled. They were awesome.
The 50th anniversary, like the 60th, was held in my home town, where Doolittle first pitched the idea of a special mission to a bunch of B-25 crews. As I said, I grew up on 30 SECONDS, and (as may be known) am a book collector, esp. of signed books.
The reunion was at a local downtown hotel. I actually had other plans for the day; had to pick my sister up at the airport. But I grabbed my old 30 SECONDS and drove over. Heck, I figured I'd look aroud, maybe score a couple of signatures, and split.
When I saw the first Raider I spotted, walking toward me (I think it was Chase Nielson), I got a major case of hero-worship. I hung around as long as I could, got as many signatures and shook as many hands as I could, ran for the airport and got my sister, told her she had plans for the rest of the day, and we went back, to meet as many as we could..
The next day I found a print of #1 (Doolittle) taking off from the HORNET, signed by Doolittle, in a local art shop. My sister bought it. Makes me jealous. It now has the signatures of a dozen or more additional Raiders. Doolittle was still alive in 1992, but had suffered a stroke and did not attend anymore reunions. Ted Lawson, who co-authored 30 SECONDS, had died that year, too.
I last saw 3 Raiders, in town for the 65th Reunion. I knew it was the last time.