Stars and Stripes: USS Hornet museum celebrates Doolittle Raiders' medal recognition, June 3, 2014

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The staff and volunteers at the USS Hornet museum are welcoming the decision to award the Congressional Gold Medal to World War II's Doolittle Raiders, the men who led a daring air strike on Japan that raised American spirits shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

President Obama signed the bipartisan legislation awarding the medal, the nation's highest civilian honor, on May 23.

Lt. Col. Richard Cole, now age 98 and one of just four men still alive of the 80 who carried out the attack in April 1942, witnessed the signing in the Oval Office.

The Hornet museum hosted special events and pushed its members and volunteers to call or e-mail every California member of Congress, as well as the state's two senators, to lobby support for the award.

"We are deeply gratified the Doolittle Raiders were awarded this much deserved Congressional Gold Medal," museum trustee Bob Fish said. "Tangentially, this national recognition recognizes Hornet CV-8 and her gallant crew, who braved dangerous waters to launch the daring air strike in 1942. It also reflects credit upon the Hornet museum staff, volunteers and members who were instrumental in getting this award approved by Congress."