Monday, November 11, 2013

Doolittle Raid last toast

The Doolittle Raid survivors assembled for the last time, toasting with the 1896 Cognac that had been saved for the last 50 years:
Known as the Doolittle Raiders, the 80 men who risked their lives on a World War II bombing mission on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor were toasted one last time by their surviving comrades and honored with a Veterans Day weekend of fanfare shared by thousands.
Three of the four surviving Raiders attended the toast Saturday at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Their late commander, Lt. Gen. James "Jimmy" Doolittle, started the tradition but they decided this autumn's ceremony would be their last.
"May they rest in peace," Lt. Col. Richard Cole, 98, said before he and fellow Raiders -- Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, 93, and Staff Sgt. David Thatcher, 92 -- sipped cognac from specially engraved silver goblets. The 1896 cognac was saved for the occasion after being passed down from Doolittle.
Hat tip: Rick, via email.


Goober said...

It never ceases to amaze me that these young, brave men continued to sell their lives so cheaply at the whim of their incompetent commanders. The quality of a man, to hear yet another order to go over the top, knowing full well that the result will be no different than the last 15 times he went over, and then, knowing all of that, to do as he’s told instead of shoot his commanding officer in his stupid face.

These young men – mostly kids, really – flocked to their own slaughter because they were told to do so, knowing full well what they were charging into, and doing it anyway, because it was their duty; what they were supposed to be doing.

I can’t imagine selling my life that cheaply. There are things that I’d gladly sell it for – don’t get me wrong.

Defense of my family. Defense of my country. Defense of my freedom. These are all things I’d die for. If I were under the command of an officer who showed competence, I’d follow his orders even if they got me killed. I’d die for any of these reasons, gladly.

But for the whim of an imbecile? I cannot even imagine. For the egos of what boils down to essentially seven men who were too proud to back off and stop the slaughter, and instead allowed their dick measuring contest, complete with mutual-defense treaties, to draw the entire world into conflagration, instead of taking a breath and saying “okay, let’s think this through before we incinerate millions of people over our own clash of ego?” I cannot even imagine.

Lions were lead by jackasses, true, but why did the lions allow this? I don’t understand.

Borepatch said...

Goober, maybe you meant this for the post about the Green Fields of France? I've always heard nothing but respect for Doolittle.

Goober said...

Yup. Wrong post. Hell, I'd have volunteered for Doolittle.