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Sat, Dec 02, 2006

Commemorative Air Force Squadron To Host Doolittle Raiders

Reunion To Be Held In April 2007

Aero-News has learned the Yellow Rose B-25 Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has been chosen to host the 65th annual reunion of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, to be held April 18-21, 2007, in San Antonio, TX. The selection of the host organization and location was voted on by the Doolittle Raider board after reviewing presentations by four organizations competing for the privilege.

The Doolittle Raid is the popular name given to a mission just after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle led 16 crews who launched B-25 Mitchell bombers off the aircraft carrier USS Hornet in a daring strike against the Japanese home islands. After the raid, the Raiders continued in serving their country.

"Since many of the Doolittle Raiders received their flight training at local military bases more than 64 years ago, this is a tremendous honor for our organization and the city of San Antonio," said Yellow Rose Squadron leader Ron Dietes. "Two of our members traveled to Dayton, Ohio, last April to make our proposal. Our presentation emphasized the outstanding attractions and atmosphere that San Antonio has to offer, and the special events we are proposing for the reunion."

According to Dietes, any organization chosen to host the Doolittle Raiders Reunion is required to partner with a local charitable organization that will benefit from special fund-raising activities during the reunion. The Yellow Rose Squadron chose Any Baby Can of San Antonio, an organization that serves families who have children facing serious chronic illness or disabilities in San Antonio and 11 surrounding areas.

"We are delighted that Any Baby Can has agreed to partner with the Yellow Rose Squadron," said Dietes. "Our members are working together to plan one or more special fund-raising events."

Any Baby Can Development Coordinator Teresa Benke said, "Being chosen to participate in the 65th Doolittle Reunion is an honor for Any Baby Can. It will also be our 25th anniversary, and we are looking forward to being a part of this memorable event."

Dietes said several other organization, including Randolph and Lackland Air Force bases, the city of San Antonio, the chamber of commerce, the convention and tourist bureau, Stinson Field Airport, the Dadaelian chapters from San Antonio and Austin, the "Silent Flyers" and the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg have all offered support for the reunion.

Also supporting the event are US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, US Congressmen Henry Bonilla and Ciro Rodriguez, Texas Senators Carlos Uresti, Leticia VanDePutte and Jeff Wentworth, San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson, Judge Lori Massey, Judge Peter Sakai, Bob Davis at USAA and the San Antonio Express News.

"We invite other groups and organizations, as well as current and former service men and women, to contact us if they would like to assist with the 65th Doolittle Reunion, including financial contributions to help us make this a truly outstanding visit for these national heroes," said Dietes.

The Yellow Rose Squadron committees have arranged accommodations at the Double Tree Airport Hotel and are planning special events to include book signings, memorabilia sales, media/sponsor opportunities and a dinner/dance fundraiser.

Dietes said they will be inviting more than 16 B-25 bombers from CAF units and private individuals throughout the United States to fly in for the event and hope to have a B-25 flyover of San Antonio, as well as a public access and media event at a static B-25 location.

FMI: www.b-25yellowrose.com

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