EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (March 21, 2007) - Thomas Griffin, one of the approximately one dozen surviving veterans of the 1942 World War II “Doolittle Raiders” mission over Japan, will be the special presenter during a free event at the EAA AirVenture Museum on Tuesday evening, March 27.
In early 1942, Lt. Griffin volunteered for what was known as “Special Mission No. 1,” a secret bombing attack on Japan just four months after the attack at Pearl Harbor. He was one of 80 men selected by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle for the assignment. The group launched 16 B-25 bombers from an aircraft carrier in the Pacific - itself an unprecedented feat - and attacked several Japanese cities before ditching their aircraft in China or the sea.
After the raid, Griffin rejoined the newly promoted Brig. Gen. Doolittle’s 12th Air Force and fought in North Africa. On July 3, 1943, Griffin was shot down over Sicily and spent the rest of the war in a German POW camp until his release in April 1945.
Griffin and the rest of the Doolittle Raiders have been featured in several books and movies, including the classic Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo and the more recent blockbuster Pearl Harbor.
Griffin’s presentation in the EAA museum’s Eagle Hangar, which begins at 7 p.m., is free to the public, although free-will donations will be accepted.
The EAA AirVenture Museum is located just off Highway 41 at the Highway 44 exit in Oshkosh. The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EAA members receive free museum admission year-round and family memberships are available. For more information, call the EAA AirVenture Museum at 920-426-6108 or visit www.airventuremuseum.org.