Bill Bower, one of the few remaining Doolittle Raider's has passed.
You can read about the amazing pilot, husband and father here at Jim Sheeler's site. He wrote about Bower for the Rocky Mountain News in 2004 and he reposted his great article on the Raiders and Bower, in particular.
Interwoven among the details of the Raid are parts about the kind of man Bower was:
...After the war, Bower earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, along with many honors, but none of them hang on the walls of his home. He says he doesn't even know where they are. And he says that's fine.
"One day I came home to find that the children had taken out all the medals and were playing with them, and had kind of torn them up," Bower said. "At first I was angry with them, but then I realized something: that's all medals are - just things for little kids to play with."
"Why be known for the medals," he said, "when you can be known for the kids?"...
Godspeed, Colonel Bill Bower.
"To those who have gone."
William M. Bower, 0-398577, Colonel
Graduated from Ravenna High School in 1934. Attended Hiram College and Kent State University, Ohio. Commissioned October 4, 1940 and rated as Pilot. After Tokyo Raid, served in England with 8th Air Force bomber units from September, 1942 until September, 1945. Graduate of Air Command and Staff College. Has served in California, Washington, D.C., Colorado, and Georgia as well as Newfoundland since World War II. Retired 1966. Decorations include Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Commendation Ribbon and Chinese Army, Navy, Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.
Chunking, Szechwan, China,