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Thread: The Cup Of Brandy No One Wants To Drink.........

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    The Cup Of Brandy No One Wants To Drink.........

    It's the cup of brandy that no one wants to drink.

    On Tuesday, in Fort Walton Beach , Florida , the surviving
    Doolittle Raiders gathered publicly for the last time.

    They once were among the most universally admired and revered men
    in the United States . There were 80 of the Raiders in April 1942,
    when they carried out one of the most courageous and
    heart-stirring military operations in this nation's history. The
    mere mention of their unit's name, in those years, would bring
    tears to the eyes of grateful Americans.

    Now only four survive.

    After Japan 's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor , with the United
    States reeling and wounded, something dramatic was needed to turn
    the war effort around.

    Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough to
    Japan for the United States to launch a retaliation, a daring
    plan was devised. Sixteen B-25s were modified so that they could
    take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. This had never
    before been tried -- sending such big, heavy bombers from a
    carrier.

    The 16 five-man crews, under the command of Lt. Col. James
    Doolittle, who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet,
    knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier. They
    would have to hit Japan and then hope to make it to China for a
    safe landing.

    But on the day of the raid, the Japanese military caught wind of
    the plan. The Raiders were told that they would have to take off
    from much farther out in the Pacific Ocean than they had counted
    on. They were told that because of this they would not have
    enough fuel to make it to safety.

    And those men went anyway.

    They bombed Tokyo , and then flew as far as they could. Four
    planes crash-landed; 11 more crews bailed out, and three of the
    Raiders died. Eight more were captured; three were executed.
    Another died of starvation in a Japanese prison camp. One crew
    made it to Russia .

    The Doolittle Raid sent a message from the United States to its
    enemies, and to the rest of the world: We will fight. And, no
    matter what it takes, we will win.

    Of the 80 Raiders, 62 survived the war. They were celebrated as
    national heroes, models of bravery. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced
    a motion picture based on the raid; "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,"
    starring Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson, was a patriotic and
    emotional box-office hit, and the phrase became part of the
    national lexicon. In the movie-theater previews for the film, MGM
    proclaimed that it was presenting the story "with supreme pride."

    Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each
    April, to commemorate the mission. The reunion is in a different
    city each year. In 1959, the city of Tucson , Arizona , as a
    gesture of respect and gratitude, presented the Doolittle Raiders
    with a set of 80 silver goblets. Each goblet was engraved with
    the name of a Raider.

    Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is
    transported to the reunion city. Each time a Raider passes away,
    his goblet is turned upside down in the case at the next reunion,
    as his old friends bear solemn witness.

    Also in the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special
    cognac. The year is not happenstance: 1896 was when Jimmy
    Doolittle was born.

    There has always been a plan: When there are only two surviving
    Raiders, they would open the bottle, at last drink from it, and
    toast their comrades who preceded them in death.

    As 2013 began, there were five living Raiders; then, in February,
    Tom Griffin passed away at age 96.

    What a man he was. After bailing out of his plane over a
    mountainous Chinese forest after the Tokyo raid, he became ill
    with malaria, and almost died. When he recovered, he was sent to
    Europe to fly more combat missions. He was shot down, captured,
    and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp.

    The selflessness of these men, the sheer guts ... there was a
    passage in the Cincinnati Enquirer obituary for Mr. Griffin that,
    on the surface, had nothing to do with the war, but that
    emblematizes the depth of his sense of duty and devotion:
    "When his wife became ill and needed to go into a nursing home,
    he visited her every day. He walked from his house to the nursing
    home, fed his wife and at the end of the day brought home her
    clothes. At night, he washed and ironed her clothes. Then he
    walked them up to her room the next morning. He did that for
    three years until her death in 2005."

    So now, out of the original 80, only four Raiders remain: Dick
    Cole (Doolittle's co-pilot on the Tokyo raid), Robert Hite,
    Edward Saylor and David Thatcher. All are in their 90s. They have
    decided that there are too few of them for the public reunions to
    continue.

    The events in Fort Walton Beach this week will mark the end. It
    has come full circle; Florida 's nearby Eglin Field was where the
    Raiders trained in secrecy for the Tokyo mission. The town is
    planning to do all it can to honor the men: a six-day celebration
    of their valor, including luncheons, a dinner and a parade.

    Do the men ever wonder if those of us for whom they helped save
    the country have tended to it in a way that is worthy of their
    sacrifice? They don't talk about that, at least not around other
    people. But if you find yourself near Fort Walton Beach this
    week, and if you should encounter any of the Raiders, you might
    want to offer them a word of thanks. I can tell you from
    firsthand observation that they appreciate hearing that they are
    remembered.

    The men have decided that after this final public reunion they
    will wait until a later date -- some time this year -- to get
    together once more, informally and in absolute privacy. That is
    when they will open the bottle of brandy. The years are flowing
    by too swiftly now; they are not going to wait until there are
    only two of them.

    They will fill the four remaining upturned goblets.
    And raise them in a toast to those who are gone.

    PLEASE SEND THIS ON TO EVERYONE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK, ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WHO WERE TOO YOUNG TO KNOW ABOUT THESE GUYS. THIS SHOULD BE READ BY EVERY KID IN GRADE AND HIGH SCHOOL SO THEY KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

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    Official Web Site of the Doolittle Raiders:

    http://doolittleraider.com
    Last edited by FlaRon; 06-25-2013 at 06:50 PM.
    "But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."
    John Adams, July 17, 1775

    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty".
    Thomas Jefferson

    "Blessed be the Lord my strength,which teacheth my hands to war,and my fingers to fight". Psalm 144:1

    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer". T.Larkin

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    WOW,
    That one started the allergies revving back up again.

    This country has way too few heroes for them not to be given the honor and apprciation they so much deserve. We have four heroes still standing for the millions that can't any longer. God bless them for their service to our great nation, and the world they helpled to save from the horrors of oppression. We must also take a moment to remember the other heroes here and abroad, that gave so much for so many, and asked for nothing in return. America is a nation of heroes past, present and yet to come. They all give of themselves for the same reason. Simply, because it has to be done, and they are there to make sure it is.
    I'm proud to be called a patriot, but even more proud to know a few heroes too. Let's do our best never to forget.


    Regards,
    Gregory
    FlaRon, Bill56, NWDave and 4 others like this.
    Teach them the truth, and let them sort thru the cobwebs of liberalism that have infested their minds.
    When the time comes that I don't want a new gun, call the undertaker!
    When they come for your guns, give them the ammo first!
    .45 ACP, Because shooting twice is just plain silly!


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    don't know if you saw it or remember it but mash had an episode very much like that. i think it was the last surviving members of the calvary and when one died they would all drink from the original bottle of brandy and i think colonel potter ended up to be the last.

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    I was pretty young when the raid was announced. I think it is important to know that the Japanese were scouring victory after victory back then. Other than the Flying Tigers in China the USA didn't have any good war news. But the Doolittle Raid was the first good news and it revived America's belief that we would win the war, it was a BIG morale booster. Those 80 men took off with the odds against them and they were fore-warned with the knowledge that if forced down over Japan, they would face sub-human treatment and probable execution. After that raid we knew we were going to win - words for what they did are inadequate.
    Bill56, FlaRon, Hellbent and 3 others like this.

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    While the physical damage was not large, the psychological impact Doolittle's Raiders had both here and on our enemy in Japan was enormous. Stories like this must be passed along and dare not be forgotten. That would be a national tragedy. These patriots are another shining example of America's greatest generation. Thank you, Ron. And God Bless everyone in America's greatest generation. I, for one, will never forget.
    FlaRon, Hellbent, Injunbro and 1 others like this.
    NRA Life Member

    A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.

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    This is the official web site .......... Great photos and information.

    Doolittle Tokyo Raiders - Official Web Site of the Raiders
    NWDave and Bill56 like this.
    "But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."
    John Adams, July 17, 1775

    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty".
    Thomas Jefferson

    "Blessed be the Lord my strength,which teacheth my hands to war,and my fingers to fight". Psalm 144:1

    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer". T.Larkin

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    When I was in the Navy in the late-1960s, I was on a commercial airline flight connecting through Dallas. An older gentleman in a civilian suit got on and sat in the row across the aisle from me. After we got up and the captain came on the speaker, he announced we were honored to have General Jimmy Doolittle flying with us. He was setting across from me. It was a real honor for me to be in his presence.
    FlaRon and Injunbro like this.
    Second Amendment: The difference between politicians and rulers.

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    That's a once-in-a-lifetime experience, LC. Did you have a chance to speak with him?
    NRA Life Member

    A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.

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    A great read...thanks for posting!


    NULLI SECUNDUS

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    Thanks for the great post Ron! I can't really add more than has already been said. We must never forget and we must make sure younger generations don't either.
    FlaRon likes this.
    Duane


 

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