People attending the 2013 AdvoCare V100 Bowl Dec. 31 will enjoy a rare sight, B-25 Mitchell “Special Delivery”, will stage a flyover at the conclusion of the Star-Spangled banner and prior to kickoff.The flight will be in honor of the Doolittle Raiders, who recently were named as recipient of the 2013 Omar N. Bradley “Spirit of Independence Award.”Special Delivery is the official B-25 of the Doolittle Raiders Association. Owned by the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston,Texas, it is restored and painted in the original colors of the aircraft that flew the mission over Tokio.It was previously painted as a US Navy PBJ (USN terminology: “PB” for “Patrol Bomber” and “J” was the USN’s designation for any aircraft manufactured by North American Aviation), It was named”Special Delivery” as well.
Only four of the original 80 Doolittle Raiders survive. The award will be accepted by Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, 98, of Comfort, Texas, who was copilot with mission leader Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle in the first plane to leave the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on April 18, 1942. The raid’s 16 bombers attacked Tokyo and other targets in Japan in the first military action against against that nation after the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, greatly boosting U.S. morale.
The Doolittle Raiders had strong ties to Barksdale Air Force Base. At least a dozen of the fliers trained at Barksdale Army Air Field, as it was called, though none are alive today. Additionally, a number of the Raiders visited or were stationed at Barksdale during the war, including bombardier Robert Bourgeois, who was at Barksdale from 1944-46 as the field’s bombsight maintenance officer.
The AdvoCare V100 Bowl is a post-season NCAA-sanctioned Division I college football bowl game that is played annually at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. It was known as the Independence Bowl prior to 2013, and was so named because it was inaugurated in the United States bicentennial year, 1976.