MEMBER OF DOOLITTLE RAIDERS DIES AT 94


David Thatcher was an Army Air Force gunner who helped save four wounded crewmen.

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) – One of the last two surviving members of the Doolittle
Raiders — who bombed Japan in an attack that stunned that nation and boosted
U.S. morale — has died in Montana.

His family said retired Staff Sgt. David Jonathan Thatcher died Wednesday in a
Missoula hospital. His son Jeff said he suffered a stroke on Sunday.

Thatcher’s death leaves Retired Lt. Col. Richard "Dick" Cole of Comfort, Texas,
as the only living airman from among 80 who took off from an aircraft carrier in
16 B-25 bombers to target factory areas and military installations in Japan on
April 18, 1942. Afterward, according to the National Museum of the U.S. Air
Force, the planes headed for airfields in mainland China, realizing they would
run out of fuel,

After his military career, Thatcher worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years
as a clerk and later a letter carrier. He retired in 1980.


A Mitchell B-25 bomber taking off for the initial air raid on Tokyo, in
1942.

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posted by Bob Karm in Aviation,CURRENT EVENTS,DEATH,HISTORY,MILITARY,New release,WAR and have No Comments

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