They finally opened that bottle
“May they rest in peace,” said 98-year-old Lt. Col. Richard Cole as he and fellow Raiders 93-year-old Lt. Col. Edward Saylor and 92-year-old Staff Sgt. David Thatcher raised their specially engraved silver goblets and sipped on the cognac saved for just this occasion. At over a hundred years old, the 1896 cognac (the year of Doolittle’s birth) was passed down from Doolittle to mark the final chapter of the ceremony. The three are the last of the surviving Doolittle Raiders able to make the yearly meeting and have agreed to split the bottle of Hennessy left to the group by General Doolittle. They did so this weekend to a toast of themselves and 77 upside down goblets.
In the background are 80 silver goblets that were presented to the surviving “Thirty Seconds over Tokyo” Raiders in 1959 by the city of Tucson, Arizona and have each respective Raiders’ names engraved twice, once right-side up and once upside-down. The goblets belonging to the deceased were placed upside-down.
You can almost hear the B-25s.