[Sticky] Last of the Doolittle Raiders dies at 103 - Rest in Peace LTC (ret) Richard "Dick" Cole  

 

GregBO
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12/04/2019 1:29 pm  

LTC (Ret) Dick Cole passed away on April 11, 2019 and was the last living member of the 80 "Tokyo Raiders" who performed the first counterattack on the Japanese mainland during World War II.   This was also the first aircraft carrier deployment of multi-engine bombers, 16 B-25B Mitchell medium bombers were launched from the USS Hornet on April 18, 1942.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, the last surviving Doolittle Raider, tours a U.S. Navy B-25 Mitchell similar to the aircraft he co-piloted. Cole has died at age 103. (Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr./Air Force)

 

LTC Cole passes away at Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio Texas and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. 

-----------------------> Air Force Times extract  <--------------------------------

Cole’s influence is still very apparent in today’s Air Force, and he remains a beloved figure among airmen. In 2016, he appeared on stage at the Air Force Association’s Air Space Cyber conference to announce that the service’s next stealth bomber, the B-21, would be named the Raider. Hurlburt Field in Florida in 2017 renamed the building housing the 319th Special Operations Squadron the Richard E. Cole Building.

-----------------------> History.net extract  <--------------------------------

LTC Cole said he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in November 1940 because “it was a good job,” especially in the midst of the Great Depression, and after finishing training went to the 17th Bombardment Group at Pendleton, Oregon.

He was transferred to Columbia, South Carolina, in early February 1942, where he saw a bulletin board notice seeking volunteers for a mission. His entire group put in their names.  “Everyone wanted to go on that mission,” Cole said in a 2017 Air Force release.  Cole, who was then 26 years old, trained at Eglin Air Field in Florida for the secret raid. 

“We were confined to base, in isolated barracks, and told not to talk about our training,” Cole told HistoryNet. “We knew it would be dangerous, but that’s all.”

---------------------------------------------------------------

 

Doolittle Raider Lieutenant Colonel Richard ‘‘Dick’’ Cole, with a B-25 at a Raiders’ reunion.

[Doolittle Raider Lieutenant Colonel Richard ‘‘Dick’’ Cole, with a B-25 at a Raiders’ reunion.]

The raid was led by then LTC (Ret BG) James Doolittle with the intention to bomb military targets in Japan, and afterwards land in China.  15 of the 16 planes crash landed in China due to lack of fuel, while one landed in Russia.  77 of the 80 crew members initially survived.  Eight were captured by the Japanese and three were later executed.  Once crew member was later listed as killed in action.

Army B-25 (Doolittle Raid).jpg

[A B-25 taking off from USS Hornet (CV-8) for the raid]

While the raid accomplished minimal material damage or loss of life in Japan (approx 50 killed and 400 injured), the mission was a complete success in that it raised the moral, motivation and resolve of U.S. military members and U.S. citizens after the Pearl harbor attack four months earlier.  Many military analysts state that the raid was a contributing factor in the Japanese Navy decision to later attack Midway Island.  Japanese Navy personnel could not conceive of an aircraft carrier launched assault being possible, and concluded that the raid was staged from land.

[Crew No. 1 in front of B-25#40-2344 on the deck of Hornet, 18 April 1942. From left to right: (front row) Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, pilot; Lt. Richard E. Cole, copilot; (back row) Lt. Henry A. Potter, navigator; SSgt. Fred A. Braemer, bombardier; SSgt. Paul J. Leonard, flight engineer/gunner.]

 

The raid was the subject of the 1944 wartime classic "Thirty Seconds of Tokyo"  

[B-25 piloted by Capt. York after emergency landing in the Soviet Union]

The above bomber was the only one to make a wheels-down landing, No. 40-2242,  landed safely in Russia and has not been seen since by Americans.

B-25 MITCHELL MEDIUM BOMBER

Dimensions - Height: 16 feet, 4 inches  Length: 53 feet  Weight (empty): 20,300 pounds  Wing span: 67 feet, 7 inches

Armament - Two .50-caliber machine guns in top turret  One .30-caliber machine gun in the nose  

Crew - Five: Pilot, co-pilot, engineer, navigator-bombardier, gunner

Bomb load for raid - Mix of 500-pound demolition bombs and incendiaries

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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Uly The Cunning
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12/04/2019 11:26 pm  

There was a time where men stood strong against all odds and showed the world what it meant to be a man. While it may not seem like much to many, the passing of men like this is also a passing of a torch where no one is willing to carry it. Men today lack the bravery and drive that these men had. I salute them on their next journey and may their amazing deeds be rewarded. Godspeed, LTC Richard "Dick" Cole.

"Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever did."
Groucho Marx: Duck Soup (1933)


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The Evil Genius
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13/04/2019 4:37 am  

I can say only this:

Father take unto thee your servant. 


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GregBO
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13/04/2019 9:59 pm  
Posted by: Uly The Cunning

There was a time where men stood strong against all odds and showed the world what it meant to be a man. While it may not seem like much to many, the passing of men like this is also a passing of a torch where no one is willing to carry it. Men today lack the bravery and drive that these men had. I salute them on their next journey and may their amazing deeds be rewarded. Godspeed, LTC Richard "Dick" Cole.

Valhalla is a worthy place for men such as these.  May others be willing to rise up in the face of future needs, one can only hope.

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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GregBO
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13/04/2019 10:02 pm  
Posted by: The Evil Genius

I can say only this:

Father take unto thee your servant. 

Check T.E.G.  We have seen a few pass out of this existance over the years and unfortunately more will soon follow.   They are indeed worthy of group or individual rememberances.   

Ones efforts are never in vain, rather they only become more important to those in the future.

 

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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