CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, May 19, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 1209, a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the World War II members of the “Doolittle Tokyo Raiders”, for outstanding heroism, valor, skill, and service to the United States in conducting the bombings of Tokyo, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 1209 was introduced on March 15, 2013 by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) and was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. The bill has 309 cosponsors.
H.R. 1209 authorizes the striking and award of a single gold medal in recognition of the members of the “Doolittle Tokyo Raiders,” and their service to the United States in conducting the bombings of Tokyo. The bill would additionally authorize the creation of bronze Congressional Gold Medal duplicates at a price intended to recoup the costs of designing and striking the gold medal.
On April 18th, 1942, 80 Airmen hailing from 35 states and led by Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle launched a daring air raid on the Japanese mainland. Orchestrated as a response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Doolittle Raid was the only operation in which U.S. Army Air Force bombers were launched into combat from an aircraft carrier. While many of the crew safely bailed out or crashed landed in China, three men died while crash landing and eight more were captured by the Japanese.
Though conceived as a diversionary tactic intended to boost American and allied morale, the strategic effect of the raid was equally significant. Not only did the raid provide a much-needed morale boost to the American populace, but caused the Japanese Imperial to relocate its main Aircraft Carrier force to the Pacific Ocean in order to pursue American Aircraft Carriers. This decision ultimately led the Japanese Navy to engage American forces at the Battle of Midway, which decisively turned the tide in the Pacific theater in the Allies’ favor.
H.R. 1209 is supported by numerous organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the Military Officers Association of America, the Reserve Officers Association, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Air Force Association, AMVETS, the American Veterans Center, and the Blinded Veterans Association.
The total cost of issuing a Congressional Gold Medal and its duplicates is $35,000. However, the Gold Medal is paid for by the sale of duplicate bronze medals, which will fully offset the cost of creating the medals. Implementing H.R. 1209 will have no significant impact on the federal budget.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.