Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Bronze Medal

Earlier this week, the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded collectively to the members of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders in recognition of their military service during World War II.

The award of the medal was authorized under Public Law 113-106. The World War II members of the 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) were led by Lt. Col. James Doolittle and came to be known as the “Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.” They made the first strike against Japan on April 18, 1942, serving as retaliation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and demonstrating that Japan was vulnerable to American air attack.

The United States Mint had previously prepared sixteen different obverse and nine different reverse design candidates for the medal, which were provided to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) for review and recommendation. Images of all design candidates can be found here. The recommendations of the CCAC and CFA can be found here and here.

The final designs selected by the Secretary of the Treasury, which appear below, match the recommendations offered by the CFA.


The obverse features the North American B-25B Mitchell launching off the USS Hornet with the inscription “First Strike” above. The border includes 16 stars to represent the 16 flight crews that made up the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, along with inscriptions “Doolittle Tokyo Raiders” and the date “April 18, 1942”. The obverse was designed by Chris Costello and engraved by Don Everhart.


The reverse design depicts the B-25B Mitchell aircraft approaching their target with four patches representing the four squadrons (34th, 37th, 89th, and 95th) that make up the 17th Bombardment Group. The inscriptions include “17th Bombardment Group”, “Toujours Au Danger” (French for “Still in Danger”), and “Act of Congress 2014”. The reverse was designed by Donna Weaver and engraved by Joseph Menna.

As in the past, the United States Mint has made bronze duplicate versions of the Congressional Gold Medal available for sale. A 3-inch version of the medal is available priced at $39.95 and a 1.5-inch version of the medal is available priced at $6.95.

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  1. Sith says

    My neighbor flew the B-25, I will be picking up one of these, nice design. What I find ironic is that the medals are look better than the coins lately

  2. Dave SW FL says

    Gentlemen, here is a TRUE FIRST STRIKE coin!!!! Don’t even need TPGs for this one, the put it right on the coin (obverse.)

    Sure would have liked to get this one in gold and/or silver.

    Can anyone explain the rationale for the 3 inch being 5 1/2 times as expensive as the 1.5 inch medal?

  3. thePhelps says

    Count me in on the medals looking better than the coins…. not sure I’ll get these unless I put it in with another order. Perhaps the upcoming turkeys… make it a flyfest…

  4. shoebox says

    “Can anyone explain the rationale for the 3 inch being 5 1/2 times as expensive as the 1.5 inch medal?”

    Sure. The area of any circle is “pie” times the radius squared, so the 3″ medal surface area is FOUR times that of the 1.5″ medal. Plus, the larger medal is thicker. My guess the bullion cost of bronze is factored in equally for both medals.

  5. JBK says

    That is a fantastic medal and I am glad it was finally awarded. At the beginning of 2015 there were four Doolittle Raiders left and we lost two this year – Edward Saylor and Robert L. Hite. Richard Cole and David Thatcher are the last two living veterans of this historic mission.

    As for the cost difference between the large and small medals, I believe that the large medals are much more difficult to produce as they require much more press tonnage. Also, I suspect that the large medals are a higher relief than the smaller medals, even after taking the size differential into consideration. Lastly, the large medals have an applied patina.

    Years from now on the secondary market you can probably pick one of these up at a fraction of the issue price. I just bought a couple medals from the early 80s for around $10 or less. But, I will buy a Doolittle Raiders medal now as a show of support and also to help pay for the medals that were awarded to the recipients (the sales of the bronze medals pays for the cost of the original gold medal, and presumably the individual surviving veterans of the raid will also get a free bronze medal).

  6. Bernie in FL says

    Just bought my 3″ Medal! Looks great. First and only one I have ever bought so far………

  7. Dustyroads says

    This would make a nice gift for my 90 year old Aunt who worked on these planes after the war was in full swing and my Uncle was navigating in a troop carrier.
    They say a lot can be said for first impressions, well this artwork made a good one on me!

  8. cagcrisp says

    Never bought a medal before but I will buy one of these (with my Turkeys). One of my past VP’s is a pilot and he knew a pilot that flew on the raid. He will appreciate the history. He has told the story to many and now he can pass this medal down to his son that is also a pilot…

  9. fmtransmitter says

    @Jerry: No the coin was not gold plated from previous thread. Just looks a bit golden in the photo. It has natural toning from almost 100 years and being ten pcnt other metal it has began to look golden. The Early walkers are for sure a challenge in High grade and bring nice high premiums…Thanks for sharing as always, I enjoy reading your posts…

  10. fmtransmitter says

    On topic: love this design and would love to see it on display in real solid gold. I’ll surf the web in a MMonth for pics from visitors to the center will it will be.on display.

  11. JBK says

    Good cooment re:gold version. I will consider having one gold plated for display. It would look impressive.

  12. Dave SW FL says

    Need help – what is the best way to preserve rolls of S ATB quarters without removing them from the mint wrapper?

    TIA for sage advice…..where else could one go for a collection of wisdom.?

  13. Tinto says

    I bought the 3 inch version, it looks fantastic. Too bad the Mint will not make a 3 inch in silver I would have bought that in a heartbeat, even at the price of the “P” ATB 5oz .

  14. JBK says

    I looked more closely at it again – that plane is flying right off the medal. It is a very good design.

  15. I started collecting yesterday says

    Hello. An off topic questions was asked about how to store ATB quarter rolls from San Fran. I also collect these min wrapped rolls. I keep them in a multi-lens storage box that I buy from the Mint (you can find them on their web site). I think they also carry a storage box just for mint wrapped rolls. The most important thing, however, in my opinion, is keeping a silica gel pack in the box with the coins. This keep moisture out. Replace the gel packs every 6 months or so. Since I only started collecting yesterday, I don’t have to replace that many.

  16. I started collecting yesterday says

    I’m not sure what updating my handle means, billb. I’m a little new, so I’m glad you are all here to help.

  17. says

    I started collecting yesterday,

    I think billb is implying that tomorrow your handle should be, “I started collecting two days ago”. The following day it should be, “I started collecting three days ago”., etc., etc.

  18. Jerry Diekmann says

    This is truly one of the very best medals the U.S. Mint has ever produced! Now, if they could do the same for all the commemorative coins – I would judge their record on that program as about 50-50.

  19. I started collecting recently says

    Thanks everyone for the help. This is indeed one of the best places for beginners like me to learn about the US Mint, collecting, and numismatics. By the way, I agree with the observations about the high quality designs in recent medals. The Fallen Heroes NY 2014 is outstanding.

  20. MikeinPa says

    buyng this, my first medal, saw a B-25 at a air show once not a whole lot of room in them. took a brave man to fly in them

  21. Dustyroads says

    I had the pleasure of being friends with two gentlemen who both participated in bombing raids over Germany, one was a pilot and the other was a gunner. The gunner talked about the floor of the fuselage being covered with shell casings upon his return.
    BTW, My niece was just awarded her wings as a Navy pilot the other day and expects to be in an active squadron by November.

  22. fmtransmitter says

    ATB S quarters. If kept in mint wrapper only issue with coin may the the two ends but I have cherry picked a few and put the ones I don’t plan on stabbing in a pvc free quarter snap tite holder…hope that helps.
    Awesome Dusty!!

  23. Mac in Ohio says

    This is a great design, part of a series of Congressional Gold Medals that have been issued over the last decade or so honoring the veterans of WWII. I suspect a lot of the rush is to say thanks to these men and women before they’re gone. My dad is near 90 and a long retired Air Force fighter pilot, but some his most vivid memories are of his days as a Navy enlisted man in the back seat of an SB2C, flying off the Bennington in 1944-45. I’m lucky enough to be attending the ceremony later today at the Museum of the USAF where the two remaining Raiders will present the gold medal to the museum for exhibit.

    Re CGM in general, we are currently witnessing the highest rate of authorization in the country’s history. In the past, Congress would go many years without approving a medal; they seem to be much more forthcoming these days. This has to be a challenge to the US Mint staff, and I think they’re doing a pretty good job with the designs. A medal, after all, is much larger than a coin and allows the designer/sculptor to develop a higher relief, more intricate image.

    In terms of their collectability, all of the ones issued in the last 10+ years or so are still available from the mint at current cost, though some seem to cycle in and out of inventory right now. The mint pulled the ones older than that quite some time ago, and many of them are a challenge to find. True, they don’t go for coin prices, but that’s more indicative of their small collector base than their mintage, which is miniscule compared to even the rarest modern commemorative. True, some are pretty easy to find (John Wayne, Kenneth Taylor), but many others never show up on E-Bay, and I’ve been hunting for several years. If you’re looking for something different, you might want to look into them. You can find a great summary of the entire series at'0E%2C*PL%5B%3C%230%20%20

  24. jeff says

    ISCYS For just getting started today you already are a wealth of knowledge . I’m sure you have an alias

  25. Dave SW FL says

    the Phelps

    Now that’s what I’m talking about, brother. Thanks for the link – excellent product at an exceptional price for archival quality!

    You ARE da bomb. 🙂

  26. ABC says

    When someone returns an item back to the mint through their return process ( via UPS), is the item automatically insured for the full value of the item or do I need to purchase the insurance when I drop it off at UPS? Also, is the procedure to get reimbursed the same as it was before? Do I just fax the invoices over to them?

  27. fmtransmitter says

    You could put a mint wrapped roll inside an air tite, just need to get the right diameter and size to fit the wrapper…

  28. Dave SW FL says

    Nice article by Lou G. at the Coin World site. Discusses the death (my word) of huge show piece label premiums.


  29. Tinto says

    @Dave SW FL

    I just checked it out. And it mentions a specific coin issue which BTW is still on sale by the Mint ….. probably the gold is where the people lost their shirts… on and hopefully the Mint gets a black eye from that fiasco and learn something from it ….

  30. Dustyroads says

    Tinto~ I have always thought of the gold Kennedy release fiasco more attributable to the popularity of the BHoF release. Of coarse I wish the Mint would have not open the flood gates of production on them, but I think they had no other choice, the Mint had to focus on increasing revenue after dismal sells from 2011 through 2013.

  31. GoldFishin says

    @ABC- from the US MINT Website…

    “For your protection, we strongly recommend that you return your order by insured mail and save the receipt for your records. The United States Mint is not responsible for lost return shipments.”

    Scroll to the bottom for returns…..I would call the Mint Customer Service to verify insurance reimbursement procedures….some policies may have changed and not been updated on the new website.

  32. GoldFishin says

    @Dusty- tell your niece congratulations from your coin collecting friends and let her know that we are proud of her and thank her for her service to our country. What an awesome accomplishment!!! I know all of her family is SO very proud!! I wanted to become an AF pilot when I was young, but unfortunately my nearsightedness prevented any chance of that happening. She is living the dream!

  33. Dave SW FL says

    I attended a coin auction today and one item was a combo deal of Kennedy ANA Chicago inaugural release PF 69UC + 2014 W $5 AGE PF60UC Chicago ANA labels with starting bid $1500.

    There was ZERO interest.

    On the other hand, a 1907 $10 wire rim, periods Indian Head Gold Eagle started at $80,000 and ultimately sold for $130,000 (plus 13% buyers fee!)

    The dealer also has discovered a 1942 J-2066 cent pattern made in RED FIBER, found in a junk/ counterfeit bucket which NGC authenticated with the mint and graded MS61. The coin is 1 of 1, had a $8,500 reserve, and got no bid. If anyone is interested, post here and I will reveal the coin dealer who holds this coin.

  34. Darek says

    ABC call CS and ask them to email you the return label. I did this several times with new contractor.

  35. Tinto says


    Probably they did have to try to match the BHOF buzz but IMO each issue is different and I think the Mint just went way overboard with the JFK coins …. and imposed high mintages there were folks here who were saying the mintages were too high … but I guess the Mint got greedy ….so glad I did not buy a gold JFK …. I had earlier received a Mint survey about the JFK and when I indicated I would not buy a gold JFK the followup query question sounded quite indignant (to me anyways) sort of like “what do you mean you won’t buy the gold!!?” And I think some people probably now know there were more gold coins certified by the TPG’s (notably PCGS) than sold at the shows … so who would buy that label knowing that?

    Probably the Mint minted all the coins to the max … it’s been close to 8 months since they started selling them … wonder if they will be able to sell the remainder by the one year anniversary ……

  36. jhawk92 says

    @the Phelps-

    Those are the coin tubes I use for my wrapped rolls. However, the rolled ends of the rolls add just enough length to the roll that the tube top generally doesn’t completely snap into place. It is a bit annoying, but certainly will help protect the coins in the long run.


    Thanks for the link on those boxes. That might be a nice way to store a bunch of tubes. Right now, I am just using the Coin Safe box that all the tubes came in. Once you fill up a box off 100 rolls, it gets pretty heavy.

  37. Dustyroads says

    Tinto~ I may be wrong about it, but I’m still bullish on the gold Kennedy, just because it’s the first of it’s kind. I’m glad I got mine, to me it’s a real treasure. I never really did get into all the hype surrounding the other Kennedy releases, but bought one of each for the fun of it. At least I have all the different Kennedy coins produced in 2014. Yeah,I think the Mint minted them to the max too, but eventually they will be gone, then my bets are on them becoming more sought after in time. I think it’s a good addition to my collection, I’m proud of it…and what a story it has.

  38. Dustyroads says

    jhawk92~ I know there’s no real good reason for doing it other than making them look fancy, but I am buying the US Mint quarter storage boxes with the Mint logo. They really do look sharp in the boxes.

  39. Ends in Error says

    I’m wondering how many of those MOD 3 Coin Sets will sell? IMHO, 75,000 IS way too many. Of course if 20,000 was the limit, there would be a 2 hour sell-out. So on 2nd thought 75k is a good limit.

    Over a period of time probably 58,000 will sell.

  40. thePhelps says

    “@jeff says
    April 18, 2015 at 9:29 am
    I think your missing the question how to store S ATB in OGP”

    Just because it is you and you waste your time here posting nothing but snarky comments… here is what was requested.

    “Need help – what is the best way to preserve rolls of S ATB quarters without removing them from the mint wrapper?”

  41. jeff says

    Dave that’s so nice of you to think someone on this thread would be interested in an obscured 1942 J-2066 cent pattern made in RED FIBER coin, what’s your agenda 13% gotta love the hypsters on this thread . You know better common Dave give me a break, one break coming up LOL

  42. MikeinPa says

    Ends in error, i believe the MOD special set will be a one day sellout, i think HH limit is 5, which means only 15,000 potential buyers, big boys will work their magic and by the bulk of them

  43. Eddie says

    Dustyroads says

    April 19, 2015 at 12:52 am

    jhawk92~ I know there’s no real good reason for doing it other than making them look fancy, but I am buying the US Mint quarter storage boxes with the Mint logo. They really do look sharp in the boxes.

    That is what I have been doing. they are a little bit expensive but look very nice on the shelf. Each holds 5 rolls and since only 5 “S” rolls come out a year it’s a perfect match.

  44. jeff says

    Eddie if the rolls are not in the OGP white box then these roll will presumably be labeled as cherry picked, even if their in government wrapped sleeves, easy to open these wrappers and reseal.. My motto pick the best leave the rest.

  45. Ends in Error says


    You probably have a good point about the big boys and their marketing plans for those Dimes. But remember the Shipping Fools in Tennessee and their funny OOS and Sold Out games. But you never know, maybe they have a special order section for their very special big customers. It happened in the 30’s, it can very well happen now. Money talks………. after all. 😉

  46. Tinto says

    @Ends in Error

    It would not surprise me one bit …. they might not only have a special order section (probably get an express lane to the goodies before other lesser “customers”) but also a special return section … …. big money talks ……

  47. thePhelps says

    I think the big guys might buy a large lot of coins – but the reality is individual buyers still out number them, and pay the same money for the coins. Lets look at the MOD special set…even if the big buyers get 25, 000 or 33% of the coins – that still leaves the little guys with 50,000 sets…or 66% of the sales.

    The conspiracy theories might be fun, but aren’t really based on anything. The mint doesn’t make anymore selling 5,000 to one buyer than they do selling 5,000 to 5,000 buyers and a popular offering is sure to bring in multiple buyers.

    The big guys then have to find 25,000 buyers as well at inflated prices – which proves difficult for them sometimes. Check the Kennedy gold to see that example.

  48. Dustyroads says

    thePhelps~ It seems that this latest method of distribution by the Mint is what’s bringing in the right amount of revenue while keeping retailers and private buyers happy. The mintage at 75,000 is high enough to take a portion of the resale profits from the flippers, thus maintaining a product for sale at the Mint over the next year. For the – direct from the Mint buyer, 75,000 seems low enough to tug them into some purchases and high enough to not create an instant sellout. The best thing that I could ask for concerning this release is for a low mintage sale out, but as I said above, I’m starting to believe the Mint likes having a greater number of products on their shelves keeping up a steady flow of sells, albeit slow.

    About the Doolittle Raiders medal, we all should know the Mint well enough by now to know that they will most probably create more 3inch medals soon, but taking into consideration the recent sell out of the FS medals, I can’t help but wonder if the Mint has chosen the medal program as the catalyst for creating the excitement in the hobby the Mint needs to maintain. I’ve grown wary of costly surprises related to business over the years and would love to experience something fun for a change, like a surprise sell out every now and then. It’s nice having a broad rang of items to choose from, but as it has been discussed before here, the US Mint could easily be on the road to being the next boutique Mint.

  49. Dave SW FL says

    Sorry to offend you, but I just got excited because that red fiber was the first pattern coin I have ever seen and held in my own hands. The story behind its discovery I also thought was quite interesting. BTW, the whole bucket of counterfeit/ junk coins was almost sold for a pittance. You may read about this coin in Coin World some day as there aren’t too many one-of-a-kind coins in existence.
    I was also blown away that someone would spend $130,000 plus vig for 1/2 of gold. I got to hold and inspect it, too.
    The auction was the Judd Estate auction. Many coins over $10,000 sold – something that does not happen in this lazy small town very often.

    It IS relevant to this blog because the pattern was produced for the MINT study of alternatives for copper during WWII.

    I don’t find every post on the blog personally interesting, but I also don’t feel the need to question others motives. To me it is an interesting piece of history from a very unique and expensive auction the likes of which I may never experience again.

    Again, my apologies for offending you.

  50. GoldFishin says

    @DaveSWFL- I enjoyed reading about your experience and I encourage you to continue to share anything you think would be interesting to most here. You have taught me a couple of things I didn’t know and I appreciate that. You have shown no pattern of hyping coins on here and I didn’t take it that way at all. Thanks!

  51. thePhelps says

    Dusty… the problem is many seem to want to be flippers when a popular item has been hit with availability issues. Then complain when they realize they don’t have the cash to buy in volume like a large reseller does. I would like the mint to find a way to control the outflow of coins – so my single coin purchase isn’t delayed while the large resellers are shown offloading pallets of coins at their warehouses like they were in 2013 with the 2 coin ASE release.

    I still say the mint would do a better job – if they implemented a “Masters Club” or something similar to what they use at the RCM. Allow those who have purchased over a set $ amount in the past year to be the 1st to view and purchase coins before they go to wide availability. Keep it limited to the general public and not allow corporate purchases until the are available to the general public. This would keep loyal customers happy, and have little real impact on the corporate buyers.

  52. jhawk92 says


    I hadn’t seen those Mint roll storage boxes. They are pretty nice looking, but certainly more expensive than a generic box. I collect the 3-roll sets, so that adds up fast; weight, rolls, and storage volume.

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