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The Doolittle Raiders

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  • The Doolittle Raiders

    I read http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/03/opinio...rebar_facebook Bob Greene article on CNN the other day..

    The gist is that there are only 4 surviving members of the Doolittle Raid and Congress should authorize the Medal of Honor for the unit before these guys pass. Doolittle recieved the award but no one else did for this mission.

    I am not entirely sure I support the Medal of Honor for these guys but perhaps strike a special Medal that honors their bravery in the face of very dicey odds.

  • #2
    Interesting. I am at least familiar with the outline of the Doolittle Raid. From a purely military standpoint, it accomplished next to nothing. From a morale standpoint, though, it made all the difference in the world, both to civilians back home and men in the field.


    The MOH is awarded specifically for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty." I think that the actions of men who climbed into rickety bombers and flew off of an aircraft carrier knowing that it was likely to be a suicide mission pretty much fits that definition. Unfortunately, that same description fits the actions of all sorts of other actions in WWII alone, not to mention all sorts of other military actions over the last couple hundred years. One could argue that describes the actions of certainly the first wave of invaders on D-Day, for example: remember that SHAEF projections were a 50% or more casualty rate, with half or more of those casualties ultimately being KIA, either immediately or succumbing to their wounds later in a hospital. They all looked at the man to their left and right and thought "you poor bastards." Yet it would have been considered rather tacky at the time to give all of those thousands of invaders the MOH.

    Since the Congressional Gold Medal is a civilian award, I'm uncertain whether it would be appropriate to award it to the remaining survivors of the Doolittle Raid. Perhaps a better idea would be the Distinguished Service Cross, which is awarded for "extraordinary heroism not justifying the Medal of Honor; and the act or acts of heroism must have been so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his or her comrades." I don't think that is actually awarded by Congress, though; IIUC, that comes through DOD channels. But I feel certain that Congress could at least pass a non-binding resolution urging the DOD to award the DSC to these men.
    Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
    No one will be denied:
    Big law suits and bathroom toots;
    We're all getting Dixie-fried.
    But somewhere Hank and Lefty
    Are rollin' in their graves
    While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

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    • #3
      There's a picture of these gentlemen here, along with links for tracking the award authorization bills and contacting representatives.
      Enjoy.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
        There's a picture of these gentlemen here, along with links for tracking the award authorization bills and contacting representatives.
        Cool link! Thanks.
        Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
        No one will be denied:
        Big law suits and bathroom toots;
        We're all getting Dixie-fried.
        But somewhere Hank and Lefty
        Are rollin' in their graves
        While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
          There's a picture of these gentlemen here, along with links for tracking the award authorization bills and contacting representatives.
          Great site. Thank you.
          Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
          Robert Southwell, S.J.

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