Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Amvets WWII Film Project

For the history buffs, here's a new documentary project from Lt. Col. Richard Cole, with fundraising link:

I'm one of the 80 men you might know as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders. We are the men that did the unthinkable — we launched Army bombers from an aircraft carrier over enemy territory to show the Imperial Japanese military they were not invincible. Just four months after Pearl Harbor, no one ever thought this was possible. I heard someone say it was similar in today's world to flying a B-2 bomber off an aircraft carrier.

Most of us crash landed or bailed out of our planes in China or along the coast. One plane landed in Russia, where its crew was interned for two years before escaping. Three Raiders were killed while bailing from their planes. Eight were captured by the Japanese — three were later executed, while another died in captivity.
Doolittle Raiders
I'm 99 years old as I write this email and I'm one of only three surviving Raiders. I'm worried about how history will remember our mission, but I'm more worried about how few Americans will remember my fellow Raiders and the impact that their lives had on the rest of the world.

The general story of the Doolittle Raid has been told in books and movies, but nothing has been told about the men themselves: what they did as young men, how they lived their lives, and how the momentous event impacted them. The American Veterans Center came to me to put together a documentary to tell the Raiders' story and I was thrilled that someone would finally tell this story!

The documentary will briefly retell the story of the planning, carrying-out, and the aftermath of the Raid. It is important to remind viewers why striking the Japanese Home Islands was so important to our national morale and to the battle in the Pacific.

This documentary, however, is mostly about the men as individuals. It's about their personal experiences on the day of the Raid and in the days and the years after. This is also about life after the war, including the relationship that we shared and the circumstances that tied us together forever.

The American Veterans Center is partnering with Emmy-winning producer Tim Gray to create this documentary and has filmed interviews with me and the few surviving Raiders. The AVC is footing the bill for the film, but it's going to cost nearly $10,000 to finish editing the program.

I hope you consider sending a gift for $25 or $42 (the year of the Raid). If you send $150 or more, I'll send you a collectors print that I personally signed.

I don't know how many years I have on God's green Earth, but I do know that I want to watch this documentary just once with my children and grandchildren to show them the impact that those Raiders had on me and on the rest of the country. I hope that the families of the other Raiders who are no longer with us will watch the film and see just how important their fathers and grandfathers were to this nation.

The American Veterans Center hopes to have the film completed by this summer. If you send $42 or more, I will ask them to send you an advanced copy of the DVD as soon as it is ready.

This is so important to me and I believe it is important for all Americans to see. I hope you will consider helping. "