The help of coin collectors is being sought to persuade Congress to authorize a Congressional Gold Medal for the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.
I am happy to oblige.
It is hard to believe that these American heroes have not yet been honored.
I think it is time to do so.
The text of the email I received reads as follows:
“I would be grateful if you could please use the following in a future edition of the Numismatic News.
“I direct the following appeal to history minded readers of Numismatic News by Brian Andeson, who is the sergeant-at-arms for the Doolittle Raiders.
“Brian is spearheading an effort to honor all the Raiders, past and present, for their valor, courage, and patriotism by having Congress award them the Congressional Gold Medal.
“There are four living Raiders but only three are able to travel to receive the Medal on behalf of all.
“The appeal is to ask your readers to contact their senators to co-sponsor Senate Bill S.381, and their Representative to co-sponsor House Bill H.R.1209.
“Our country is in debt to the Raiders for their historic mission.
“If you would consider printing this in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ section, it would be appreciated.
I looked up the legislation. The Senate version has 24 co-sponsors and the House version has 118. Both houses need two-thirds of their members to co-sponsor to bring the measure to a vote.
The Doolittle Raiders are examples of can-do American resolve when our backs are against the wall.
The Raiders bombed Tokyo April 18, 1942, in the dark days following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.
It was one of those missions that no one knew could be done until somebody did it.
Led by Lt. Col. James Doolittle 80 men manning 16 B-25 bombers took off from the U.S.S. Hornet 670 miles from Japan.
The crews knew they did not have the fuel to make the run and return to the carrier. They took their planes to China. Two died after crashing.
Eight were captured by Japanese forces in China and three were executed. One died of disease.
Remarkably, 70 eventually returned to the United States.
Tokyo was shocked. Americans had a piece of good news amid all the military reversals in the Pacific.
Is it time to recognize the feat with a Congressional Gold Medal?
I think so.
If you agree, go to go to Thomas, the Library of Congress website. You will find out how to contact your representative and senators there.
The link is: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/contactingcongress.html
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."