On Saturday, Cincinnati remembered an American veteran. Major Thomas Griffin, 96, a Cincinnati native, was among 80 volunteers of the Doolittle Raiders. He was buried at the Green County Veteran’s Cemetery yesterday.
Of the 80 Doolittle Raiders, only 4 remain:
- Lt Col. Richard Cole
- Lt. Col Robert Hite
- Lt Col. Edward Saylor
- Msgt David Thatcher
The Doolittle Raiders was a group of volunteers willing to engage in a “suicide mission” against the Japanese after their attack on Pearl Harbor.
The mission was to fly into Japan and bomb Tokyo. After 16 bombers unloaded their bombs on the Japanese mainland, they would not have enough fuel left to return. The attack shocked Japan and provided a lift to America’s morale.
Major Griffin avoided capture by parachuting into China. And with assistance from Chinese villagers, he escaped to safety.
After surviving the bombing mission, he joined the North Africa campaign to engage in bombing raids against the Germans.
His bomber was shot down in 1943, where he was captured by the Germans, who placed him in a prison camp for two years.
The Raiders were named after their commander Lt. Col “Jimmy” Doolittle. More information about this legendary group can be found at Cincinnati’s Fox 19 News, the Huffington Post or the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.