(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, unveiled today the specialty jerseys that the team will be wearing for Military Appreciation Night, presented by Ebelution Heating and Cooling. The jerseys, which are presented by Ebelution and the Iron Horse Inn and Casino, commemorate the 80th anniversary of the 1942 Doolittle Raid, a morale-building United States victory that was in retaliation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
“Military Appreciation Night is always a special night for us,” said Spire Hockey President Todd Mackin. “Rapid City has such a proud military community, and we love to do whatever we can to recognize it and give back. These jerseys that honor the Doolittle Raid are spectacular and I can’t wait for our fans to see them on the ice.”
The Doolittle Raid, which was led by Lt. Colonel James “Jimmy” Doolittle, involved 16 B-25 aircrafts from four squadrons. Three of the four squadrons that took part are currently located at Ellsworth Air Force base in nearby Box Elder; The 34th Bomb Squadron, the 37th Bomb Squadron and the 89th Attack Squadron.
Historians view the Doolittle Raid as a major morale-building victory that showed the Japanese were vulnerable to air attack. It was the first time that land-based medium bombers had ever been launched from an aircraft carrier and Doolittle was awarded the Medal of Honor for the success of the raid.
The jersey design features a B-25 aircraft on the front of the jersey and the USS Hornet, the aircraft carrier from which the Doolittle Raiders launched their mission, on the back side. The date of the Doolittle Raid, April 18, 1942, is printed on the sleeves of the jersey. The right shoulder features the ‘Guardian of the North,’ the patch for the 28th Bomb Wing, which is stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base. On the left shoulder is the unique insignia of the Doolittle Raiders, which is used to commemorate the historic mission.
Following the game, the jerseys will be auctioned off via a live, in-person auction. A portion of the proceeds from the jersey auction will be donated to Mission 22, a nonprofit organization that supports active military members and veterans.
The Rush host the Kansas City Mavericks on Military Appreciation Night, which takes place on Saturday night. There will be $15 tickets available for active-duty military and veterans in selection sections. Additionally, the first 500 fans will get a magnet that features Dakota, the Rush service dog in training, courtesy of Ebelution Heating and Cooling. Puck drop for Military Appreciation Night is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Monument Ice Arena.