Doolittle Raider WWII vet Tom Griffin dies at 96

February 28, 2013 - 1:29 PM
Obit Doolittle Raider

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2011 file photo, Maj. Thomas Griffin poses for a photo inside his home in Cincinnati, next to a Time Magazine cover of Lt. Col. James Doolittle and a painting of one of the B-25B Mitchell bombers used in Doolittle's raid on Japan in 1942. Griffin, a navigator on one of the planes used in the raid, died Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 in a VA nursing home at the age of 96. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

CINCINNATI (AP) — A B-25 bomber navigator in the daring World War II bombing raid on mainland Japan has died.

Maj. Thomas "Tom" Griffin was 96, and his death leaves four surviving Doolittle's Raiders.

Griffin died Tuesday in a VA nursing home. Funeral services are March 9.

Griffin was among 80 volunteers for the April 18, 1942, mission. The bombing run, planned by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, was credited with lifting American morale and shaking Japan in Pearl Harbor's aftermath.

Griffin parachuted over China and eluded capture, eventually returning to service on bombing runs from North Africa. His plane was shot down in 1943, and he spent nearly two years in a German prison camp.

He was preceded in death by his wife, and survived by two sons.