Thursday, April 11, 2019

Last of the Raiders dies

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Richard E. “Dick” Cole, the last living member of the WWII bombing mission by the Doolittle Radiers, died April 9 in Texas at the age of 103. Cole was one of 80 Army Air Corps personnel that volunteered for the mission, a team led by then-Lt. Col. James Doolittle to strike Japan on April 18, 1942, after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Sixteen B-25 bombers launched from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. The team trained at Eglin Field in Florida for two weeks. Damage from the raid was slight, but showed that Japan was not beyond the reach of American air power. Seven of the raiders lost their lives in the mission. Cole bailed out of the B-25 after the raid while trying to reach a landing site in China. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. (Source: AF Special Operations Command, 04/10/19)