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Surviving WWII Doolittle Raiders make final ceremonial toast, big crowds for events in Ohio

  • 3464c9d5cbcea425420f6a7067004b5e.jpg

    Three of the four surviving members of the 1942 Tokyo raid led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, left to right, David Thatcher, Edward Saylor, and Richard Cole, pose next to a monument marking the raid, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, outside the National Museum for the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. The fourth surviving member, Robert Hite, was unable to travel to the ceremonies. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In these April 18, 2012 file photos, surviving Doolittle Raiders Richard Cole, left, David Thatcher, center, and Edward Saylor take part in a commemoration for the 70th anniversary of the raid on Tokyo at the Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Cole, Thatcher and Saylor will return to the museum Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, to make a final toast to comrades who died in or since their World War II bombing attack on Japan. Only four of the 80 Raiders are still alive, and one isn't able to travel. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this April 17, 1987 file photo, thirty members of Jimmy Doolittle’s Tokyo Raiders pose for a group picture in front of a B-25J bomber in Torrance, Calif., as they gather for a reunion. Thousands of visitors streamed to the national Air Force museum on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 to pay a Veterans Day weekend tribute to the few surviving members of the Doolittle Raiders, airmen whose daring raid on Japan helped boost American morale during World War II, as they planned to make their ceremonial final toast together. Only four of the 80 Raiders are still living, and one was unable to attend because of health issues. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this July 14, 1943 file photo, Maj. Gen. James Doolittle, (third from left, front row) who led the air raid on Japan, April 18, 1942, and some of the men who flew with him drink a champagne toast from coffee cups during a reunion in North Africa on the first anniversary of the flight. Flyers are left to right front row: Maj. William Bower, Ravenna, OH; Maj. Travis Hoover, Arlington, Calif.; Maj. Gen. Doolittle Lt. Col. Harvey Hinman, San Francisco, (not one of raiders); Capt. Neston C. Daniel, Plaquemine, LA., Back row left to right: Capt. Howard A. Sessler of Arlington, Mass., who brought the picture to this country; Capt. William R. Pound, Jr., Kent Homes VA.; Maj. Rodney R. Wilder, Taylor, Tex.; Capt. James M. Arker, Livingston, Tex., Maj. Charles R. Greening, Tacoma, Wash., Maj. Joseph Klein, Paradise, Tex.; Capt. Griffith P. William, San. Diego, Calif., and Capt. Thomas C. Griffin, Chicago, Ill. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

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    Eric Fanning, left, acting Secretary of the US Air Force walks to the podium past three of the surviving members, seated left to right, Edward Saylor, David Thatcher, and Richard Cole, of the 1942 raid on Tokyo led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, outside the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. The fourth surviving member, Robert Hite, was unable to travel to the ceremonies. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) (The Associated Press)

The last of the Doolittle Raiders have made their final toast to comrades who died in or since their daring bombing attack on Japan 71 years ago.

Raising specially engraved silver goblets with a bottle of 1896 cognac saved for the occasion, three of four surviving Raiders paid their tribute in a Saturday evening ceremony at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio. The fourth was unable to attend for health reasons.

The 1942 mission by 80 airmen is credited with rallying Americans and knocking the Japanese off stride.

The museum says as many as 10,000 people turned out for events through the day, including a memorial service and B-25 bomber flyover. Hundreds including family members of deceased Raiders were at the invitation-only toast ceremony.

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