Just like the B-25s taking off from aircraft carriers, the B-1 is constantly upgraded from what was originally just supposed to be a low-level bomber to one of the most capable USAF aircraft
Two B-1 strategic bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) took part in the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Tokyo Raid where one of the Bones performed a high-speed flyover and unveiled the “Ruptured Duck” nose art.
As told by Senior Airman James L. Miller, 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs in the article Continuing a legacy, Ellsworth’s very own 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons were the same squadrons selected in 1942 from the 17th Bomber Group by Lt. Col. James Doolittle to attempt a dangerous mission now known as the Doolittle Raid.
As we have explained the Raid was aimed to attack the Japanese homefront with hopes of raising the morale of allied troops who suffered multiple defeats at the hands of the seemingly invincible Japanese forces.
Several members of the 34th and 37th BS will continue to uphold and honor the legacy created those 75 years ago at various anniversary events.
“Every day is a day to remember our heritage,” remarked Capt. Devin Ivy, a 34th BS instructor pilot (IP). “We set aside time during briefs to have short history lessons about the squadron, which helps put into perspective the impact the 34th has had in history.”
As Ivy said, the unit has kept its innovative tendencies to get the mission done, besides its name from the past.
“Innovative, that is the word I would use to describe our history as a bomb squadron,” pointed out Capt. Scott Cermenaro, 34th BS weapons system officer (WSO) instructor. “Just like the B-25s taking off from aircraft carriers, which was unheard of at the time, the B-1 is constantly being upgraded and enhanced from what was originally just supposed to be a low-level bomber, to now one of the most important aircraft we have at our disposal.”
Those selected to participate in the flights were the best of the best, honoring the legacy of the selfless and heroic actions of the 80 members involved in the Doolittle Raid.
“Awards and certificates are cool and everything, but this is an opportunity that will stick with me the rest of my life,” said Capt. Michael Riddick, another 34th BS IP. “Being able to honor the sacrifices of the lost Raiders and help remind people of their story is a humbling experience.”
Three quarters of a century have passed since the Raid, and only one living member remains, which gives each and every celebration even more meaning to the service members involved.
“I met [Richard] Cole three years ago at an air show in Florida,” said Capt. Bret Cunningham, a 34th BS IP. “It was such a humbling experience meeting a living piece of history. It really helps put the importance of what we do into perspective.”
Photo credit: Senior Airman James L. Miller / U.S. Air Force
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com