IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
To award a Congressional Gold Medal to the World War II
members of the
Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, for outstanding heroism,
valor, skill, and service to the United States in conducting the bombings of
Congress finds that—
on April 18,
1942, the brave men of the 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) became known as the
Doolittle Tokyo Raiders for outstanding heroism, valor, skill,
and service to the United States in conducting the bombings of Tokyo;
80 brave American
aircraft crewmen, led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, volunteered for an
extremely hazardous mission, without knowing the target,
location, or assignment, and willingly put their lives in harm's way, risking
death, capture, and torture;
the conduct of medium bomber operations from a Navy aircraft carrier under combat conditions had never before been attempted;
after the discovery of the USS Hornet by Japanese picket ships 170 miles further away from the prearranged launch point, the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders proceeded to take off 670 miles from the coast of Japan;
by launching more than 100 miles beyond the distance considered to be minimally safe for the mission, the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders deliberately accepted the risk that the B–25s might not have enough fuel to reach the designated air-fields in China on return;
the additional launch distance greatly increased the risk of crash landing in Japanese occupied China, exposing the crews to higher probability of death, injury, or capture;
because of that deliberate choice, after bombing their targets in Japan, low on fuel and in setting night and deteriorating weather, none of the 16 airplanes reached the prearranged Chinese airfields;
of the 80 Doolittle Tokyo Raiders who launched on the raid, 8 were captured, 2 died in the crash, and 70 returned to the United States;
of the 8 captured Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, 3 were executed and 1 died of disease; and
there were only 5 surviving members of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders as of February 2013.
Congressional gold medal
President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives shall make appropriate arrangements for the award, on behalf of
Congress, of 6 gold medals of appropriate design in honor of the World War II
members of the 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) who became known as the
Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, in recognition of their military
service during World War II.
Design and striking
For the purposes of the award referred to in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury shall strike the gold medals with suitable emblems, devices, and inscriptions, to be determined by the Secretary.
Following Award of Medals
Following the award of the gold medals referred to in subsection (a), 5 of the gold medals shall be given to the 5 surviving members of the mission as of February 2013 or their next of kin, with a sixth medal to be given to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, where it shall be displayed with the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Goblets, as appropriate, and made available for research.
Sense of Congress
It is the sense of Congress that the National Museum of the United States Air Force should make the gold medal received under paragraph (1) available for display elsewhere, particularly at other locations and events associated with the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.
Under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, the Secretary may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold medal struck under this Act, at a price sufficient to cover the costs of the medals, including labor, materials, dyes, use of machinery, and overhead expenses.
Status of Medals
Medals struck pursuant to this Act are national medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code.
Passed the Senate November 19, 2013.