Seventy years ago a squadron of B-25 bombers staged a daring raid on Japan in the early months of World War II following Pearl Harbor. To commemorate that amazing operation, a tribute will be held this Saturday for its commander, James Doolittle, one of California's best-known pioneer aviators and war heroes.
The USS Hornet Museum in partnership with the Jimmy Doolittle Air & Space Museum will host the day-long celebration. Festivities include appearances by three of the five surviving Raiders, veterans of the USS Hornet (CV-8) and others involved in the rescue of the airmen in China. There will also be a presentation by Doolittle's granddaughter and biographer Jonna Doolittle Hoppes.
Among the honored guests attending the tribute is Lincoln resident Richard Nowatzki who served on the Hornet from before it was commissioned in October 1941 until it was sunk in October 1942 during the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.
What: A Tribute to Jimmy Doolittle
Where: USS Hornet Museum, 707 W Hornet Ave, Pier 3, Alameda
When: May 5, 10 to 4 p.m. Special presentation at 1 p.m. Fundraising dinner, 5 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $15 adults; $12 seniors, military and students; $6 youth 5-17; children under 5 free with paying adult. $100 per person dinner (reservations required).
For more info: (510) 521-8448 or website
PHOTO CREDIT: Four survivors of the April 17, 1942 bombing raid on Tokyo, Japan, led by Jimmy Doolittle, pose for photographs in front of a B-25 bomber at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. 2010 Dayton Daily News photograph by Mike Ullery. (Bottom) Lincoln resident Richard Nowatzki who served on the USS Hornet during World War II. Courtesy USS Hornet Museum.