2013 - 2014 LEGISLATURE
September 5, 2013 - Introduced by Representatives Jacque, Ballweg, Berceau,
Bernier, Brooks, Hutton, Jorgensen, Kahl, Kestell, Klenke, Knodl, T.
, Murtha, Nass, Ohnstad, Pridemore, Sanfelippo, Spiros,
Weatherston, Williams, Wright, A. Ott and Bies, cosponsored by Senators
Lasee, Cowles, Carpenter, Gudex, Kedzie, Lehman, L. Taylor and
Grothman. Referred to Committee on Rules.
AJR51,1,2 1Relating to: commending the life and military service of Major Thomas C. Griffin
2(retired), U.S. Army Air Corps.
AJR51,1,53 Whereas, Thomas C. Griffin was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Jane and
4John Griffin on July 10, 1916, and passed away on February 26, 2013, in Green
5Township, Ohio; and
AJR51,1,86 Whereas, Thomas grew up during the Great Depression, witnessing his father's
7hardworking spirit and drive to never go without, influencing a young Thomas to live
8a life of dedication and hard work; and
AJR51,1,119 Whereas, Thomas was fascinated throughout his childhood with aviation
10heroes Charles Lindbergh and James Doolittle, leading him to attend college and join
11the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC); and
AJR51,1,1312 Whereas, Thomas's ROTC experience led him to grow fonder of aviation and
13increased his desire to serve his country; and
AJR51,2,214 Whereas, upon graduation, Thomas was commissioned a second lieutenant in
15the United States Army Coast Artillery Corps, later volunteering for aviation cadet

1training and subsequently being rated as a navigator and recommissioned in the
2Army Air Corps, 17th Bomb Group; and
AJR51,2,53 Whereas, Lt. Griffin was reassigned to Eglin Field, Florida, where he and 119
4other aviators were asked to volunteer for a classified mission, about which they were
5provided no details; and
AJR51,2,86 Whereas, the mission, now named "Special Aviation Project #1," consisted of
7intense training including learning how to take off in a B-25 in 250 feet or less, a feat
8that was never accomplished before on a fully loaded bomber; and
AJR51,2,119 Whereas, Lt. Griffin and his fellow aviators, upon completion of special
10training, were reassigned to the Navy's newest carrier, the USS Hornet, to carry out
11their mission, which was now disclosed as bombing Tokyo; and
AJR51,2,1412 Whereas, on April 18, 1942, at 0820, Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle led
13the first of 16 B-25s off the deck of the Hornet, including Lt. Griffin's B-25, the
14Whirling Dervish; and
AJR51,2,1815 Whereas, the distance to Japan was 650 nautical miles (300 miles longer than
16planned), yet the 16 B-25s known as the Doolittle Raiders continued with their
17mission at great personal risk, carrying out a successful bombing campaign on Tokyo;
AJR51,2,2119 Whereas, Lt. Griffin's crew, upon completion of the bombing run, turned toward
20China with the anticipation of landing safely, but instead crash-landed behind
21enemy lines, where they would stay for seven days; and
AJR51,2,2422 Whereas, Lt. Griffin, upon leaving China, was reassigned to a B-26 crew in the
23European theater of war, conducting bombing missions over northern Africa and
24Italy; and
1Whereas, Lt. Griffin's B-26 was shot down by German aircraft over Sicily on
2July 4, 1943; and
AJR51,3,53 Whereas, Lt. Griffin was captured by German forces once he was on the ground,
4and was held at the Stalag Luft III prisoner-of-war camp for the next 22 months;
AJR51,3,86 Whereas, Lt. Griffin and his fellow POWs were liberated by General Patton's
7Third Army, and Lt. Griffin returned home to America on May 15, 1945, and married
8the love of his life, Esther, on June 22, 1945; and
AJR51,3,119 Whereas, Thomas Griffin retired from the Army Air Corps in September 1945
10as a major. His decorations include a Distinguished Flying Cross, four Air Medals,
11and the Chinese Army, Navy and Air Corps Medal, Class A, First Grade; and
AJR51,3,1412 Whereas, Thomas Griffin, upon his retirement from the Army Air Corps,
13became a father to two sons, Gary and John, and operated a successful accounting
14business in Cincinnati, Ohio, until his retirement in 1983; and
AJR51,3,1715 Whereas, Thomas Griffin spent countless hours speaking to people young and
16old about the Doolittle raid, teaching how the courage and actions of a few can change
17the morale and discourse of an entire country; now, therefore, be it
AJR51,3,19 18Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the legislature
19salutes Thomas Griffin's military service and mourns his passing.
AJR51,3,2020 (End)