Doolittle's Raiders

When my Dad was in 1st grade, my grandfather worked for an electrical contractor installing runway lights on Eglin Air Force Base.

He says that Pop used to come home from work talking about this crazy pilot who was always out on Eglin trying to do something strange in a B-25 Bomber.

Pop said there were lines drawn on the runway, guys with stopwatches, and some crazy short takeoffs being practiced.

He didn’t know it at the time but he was watching General Jimmy Doolittle practicing short takeoffs in preparation for what we now know as Doolittle’s Raid.

The Raiders practiced bombing with concrete bombs over what is today Fred Gannon State Park and at least one of those bombs is still there.

 This year marks the 71st Anniversary of Doolittle’s Raid and the 4 remaining Raiders are celebrating their annual reunion here in Fort Walton Beach.

Photo Courtesy Ft Walton Beach Chamber

This will be the last reunion for these men and it seems fitting for them to celebrate here, where they trained.

Thank you, Raiders, your sacrifice provided a much needed morale boost for our country - and for that we will always be grateful.