Liberty Aviation Museum to display
Doolittle Raiders Congressional Gold Medal
(L-R): Brian Anderson of Doolittle Raiders Association and Doolittle Raider Lt. Col. Dick Cole present the Congressional Gold Medal to Connie Nieves and Edward Patrick of Liberty Aviation Museum.
On April 15, 2015, the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders were awarded Congressional Gold Medals in recognition of their heroic actions and sacrifice during WWII. They participated in the first bombing raid over Tokyo, Japan, on April 18, 1942. The raid was in response to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It is estimated that this singular raid helped shorten the war with Japan significantly, as the Japanese subsequently diverted large amounts of their military resources and personnel to homeland defense instead of offensive military actions.
Sixteen B-25 Mitchell Bombers carrying 80 crewmen participated in the raid. Each of the 80 crewmen were awarded a gold medal. 78 of the medals were awarded posthumously. Only Lt. Col. Richard Cole, 100, a native of Dayton, OH, co-pilot of crew #1, and SSGT David J. Thatcher, 93, of Missoula, MT, engineer-gunner on crew #7, are still living. On Friday, April 22, 2016, the world premiere of the film, "Richard E. Cole - One Hundred Years a Hero" by Sleeping Dog Productions was screened at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton. Col. Cole was in attendance along with the filmmakers and Brian Anderson of the Doolittle Raiders Association. During the event the Liberty Aviation Museum was the recipient of one of the Doolittle Raiders' gold medals. Lt. Col. Cole personally presented the medal to Liberty Aviation Museum representatives Edward Patrick and Connie Nieves.
This particular medal was awarded to 2nd Lt. Aden Earl Jones, bombardier on crew #3. Lt. Jones was a native of Flint, MI. He passed away in 1983 and since the time of his death, the Doolittle Raiders Association was unable to locate any living relatives. It was decided by the Raiders Association that Lt. Jones' medal be given to the Liberty Aviation Museum to be placed on public display, in recognition of the museum’s ongoing support of the Doolittle Raiders Association.
As the highest ranking surviving officer of the Doolittle Raiders, Lt. Col. Cole autographed Lt. Jones' Medal.
Edward Patrick, CEO of the Liberty Aviation Museum stated, "We are honored and humbled to be chosen by the Doolittle Raiders Association to be entrusted with the stewardship of Lt. Aden Jones’ Congressional Gold Medal."
The medal will be on display at the Liberty Aviation Museum, 3515 E. State Road, Port Clinton. For further information about the museum’s collection, events, and hours, please visit: www.libertyaviationmuseum.org or call 419.732.0234.
Doolittle Raider, 2nd Lt. Aden Earl Jones' Congressional Gold Medal, signed by Doolittle Raider Lt. Colonel Dick Cole, and photo of Lt. Aden Earl Jones.
Congressional Certificate of Regocnition