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Last of WW2 'Doolittle Raiders' Dick Cole dies aged 103


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BBC  /  April 9, 2019

Dick Cole, the last veteran of a World War Two bombing raid on Japan in retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor, has died. He was 103 years old.

The famed Doolittle raid was named for then Lt Col Jimmy Doolittle, who led the first US strikes against Japan during the war in 1942.

Retired Lt Cole was Lt Col Doolittle's co-pilot in the lead plane.

The raid, which included 16 B-25 bombers and 80 crew members, helped boost morale after Pearl Harbor.

"There's another hole in our formation", Air Force chief of staff General David L Goldfein said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The Legacy of the Doolittle Raiders - his legacy - will live forever in the hearts and minds of Airmen," he continued.

Who is Dick Cole?

Born in 1915 in Dayton, Ohio, Mr Cole enlisted in the military in November 1940, after two years of college at Ohio University.

He was on a training mission in Oregon with the 17th Bombardment Group when he heard that Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor, according to a news release from the Air Force.

After he was transferred to Columbia, South Carolina, Mr Cole and his entire group volunteered for a secret mission with no known details - what would become the Doolittle Raid.

It wasn't until two days into the group's voyage to begin the raid that the men were told they were on their way to Tokyo.

On 18 April, 1942, the US Army Air Force and the Doolittle Raiders launched an attack on Japan in retaliation for its devastating bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Though it only caused minor damage, the attack dealt a critical blow to the Japanese, undermining its assurances that the country was safe from an American air attack.

Of the 80 men who participated in the raid, eight were captured by Japanese forces.

Six of these men died by execution or while imprisoned.

Many had to parachute out of their planes as part of the mission, including Mr Cole who jumped out at around 9,000 ft (2,743m).

Mr Cole retired from the Air Force in 1966, after logging more than 5,000 flight hours in 30 different aircrafts.

He remained familiar at Air Force events, including the Doolittle Raiders' annual reunions.

"We will miss Lt Col Cole, and offer our eternal thanks and condolences to his family," wrote Gen Goldfein.

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God love them and everyone involved they sure don’t make men like that these days some of these young whiners could learn a few things instead of crying about getting their feelings hurt let’s wish him a ternal life I’m sure he will get it easily and yes we know which way he’s going.....bob

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1 hour ago, CaptainCrutch said:

deshalb sprechen wir kein deutsch. 

I only wish more people could understand even that much that these men have done.

または日本

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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3 hours ago, Red Horse said:

For sure.  Better question-how many people in Congress have that understanding?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OprxD5njXo

 

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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22 hours ago, 41chevy said:

Yes. A work ethic, self reliance, tolerance, sense of family and community, patriotism, common sense, practical education, knowing right from wrong, religion of some sort, the ability to see both sides of an issue and last the sense not to believe everything they hear or read.

I think the biggest to change that I can observe is unless something is in it for them most people arent interested, both young and old the same I feel in Australia these days 

Were as the men that went off to fight in WW2 and earlier wars just did what had to be done for the good of all

You rarely if ever see that anymore

People will say that will still have young men and women in our defence forces and emergency services but they arent the ones Im talking about 

The men Im talking about put their country and the world  first with out having to be asked and went off to the other side of the world to right a wrong and left families and loved ones behind to perhaps never see them again 

I feel it wasnt done for money or glory or anything like that, rather it was the right thing to be done and they just did what was right

Paul 

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Courage is not the absence on fear, it is the refusal to be mastered by it.

 

Given the reason, men of today would rise to the occasion. Look at 9/11. America came together quick and hit back.  Became an ambiguous war along the way, but patriotism came back.  Now we have snow flakes, for the Vietnam war we had hippies, and I don't know our societal history well enough to tell you what we had for wwI and II, but every generation has something strange about it.

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Every year I recall reading about a reunion these guys had.  I believe they had a rare bottle of scotch and the last two attending would open it.  My alma mater's annual calendar's April picture was the crew of the Whirling Dervish and a guy from the class of 1940 was on that. He was wounded by AA fire but made it back.  When you talk about flying into the face of death, carrier was spotted by the Japs some 200 miles from the intended launch point.  They launched at that point knowing they would probably not have the fuel to make it to their designated landing strips in China-that is if they survived the  AA fire and the fighters.

Sad thing is every day we lose another piece of history when these guys pass on. And for sure it is doubtful that kids in school today get taught anything about  WW II.  One thing I can say, my generation had the good fortune to learn something from the TV of our era- The Victory at Sea series.

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20 hours ago, Red Horse said:

Sad thing is every day we lose another piece of history when these guys pass on. And for sure it is doubtful that kids in school today get taught anything about  WW II.  One thing I can say, my generation had the good fortune to learn something from the TV of our era- The Victory at Sea series.

Also the World at War and Walter Cronkites The 20 Century show.

Saw my grandsons American History book a few years ago.  Teaches kids WE attacked the Japanese by sinking one of their subs. Teaches also we were going under the grand plan to control the Pacific Rim by continuing to war in Korea and than Vietnam.  

Most of my peers were shit on for serving in S.E.Asia both when we went and when we came home and in later years too until patriotism returned after 9/11, But we still did what we had to do and are proud of it.                                                                                                               

Edited by 41chevy
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"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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