Final Reunion

The remaining Doolittle Raiders will gather in Dayton, Ohio, for a final time next month.

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The revered World War II heroes will lift their goblets, sip their 117-year-old cognac and say good-bye to a decades-old tradition of gathering with their comrades to reflect on their contribution to American history. “It’s bittersweet,” said Wes Fields, who lives in Destin and has served as the Raiders’ security guard and escort for decades.He will attend the toast at the National Museum of the Air Force on Nov. 9. “You want to be involved in it, but in a sense you don’t because you dread it. It’s coming to an end,” Fields said.

Three of the remaining four Raiders — 98-year-old Lt. Col. Dick Cole, 93-year-old Lt. Col. Ed Saylor and 92-year-old Staff Sgt. David Thatcher — will attend their final toast. They will open the famed bottle of Hennessy Very Special cognac from 1896, the year Jimmy Doolittle was born.

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The remaining Doolittle Raiders will gather in Dayton, Ohio, next month for the last time, lift their goblets, sip their 118-year-old cognac and say goodbye to a 71-year-old tradition of gathering with their comrades to reflect and remember their contribution to American history.

Lt. Col. Robert Hite, 93, likely will not attend because of his health. Only about 1,000 people have been invited.

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About On the North River

Forty years toiled in the Tel-com industry, married for 36 years widowed at sixty-one. New girlfriend at sixty-five. Tea Party supporter. Today a follower of the God-Emperor Donald. Do like to kayak, cook, take photos, bike, watch old movies and read.
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