Richard Eugene Cole
Cole in 2014
|Born||September 7, 1915|
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||April 9, 2019 103) (aged|
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
|Years of service||1940–1966|
|Unit|| 17th Bomb Group |
1st Air Commando Group
|Commands held||831st Combat Support Group|
|Battles/wars|| World War II |
|Awards|| Distinguished Flying Cross (3)|
Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal (2)
Richard Eugene Cole (September 7, 1915 – April 9, 2019) was an American career officer in the United States Air Force. He was one of the airmen who took part in the Doolittle Raid on April 18, 1942, serving as the co-pilot to Jimmy Doolittle in the lead airplane of the raid. He eventually reached the rank of lieutenant colonel.
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces, and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947. It is the youngest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the fourth in order of precedence. The USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control.
The Doolittle Raid, also known as the Tokyo Raid, on Saturday, April 18, 1942, was an air raid by the United States on the Japanese capital Tokyo and other places on the island of Honshu during World War II, the first air operation to strike the Japanese Home Islands. It demonstrated that the Japanese mainland was vulnerable to American air attack, served as retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor, and provided an important boost to American morale. The raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle of the United States Army Air Forces.
James Harold Doolittle was an American General and aviation pioneer. He made early coast-to-coast flights, earned a doctorate from M.I.T. in aeronautics, won many flying races and most significantly, helped develop instrument flying.
Cole remained in China after the raid until June 1943, and served again in the China Burma India Theater from October 1943 until June 1944. He later served as Operations Advisor to the Venezuelan Air Force from 1959 to 1962. He retired from the Air Force in 1966 and became the last living Doolittle Raider in 2016.
China Burma India Theater (CBI) was the United States military designation during World War II for the China and Southeast Asian or India-Burma (IBT) theaters. Operational command of Allied forces in the CBI was officially the responsibility of the Supreme Commanders for South East Asia or China. However, US forces in practice were usually overseen by General Joseph Stilwell, the Deputy Allied Commander in China; the term "CBI" was significant in logistical, material and personnel matters; it was and is commonly used within the US for these theaters.
The Venezuelan Air Force, officially the Venezuelan National Bolivarian Military Aviation is a professional armed body designed to defend Venezuela's sovereignty and airspace. It is a service component of the National Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Richard Eugene Cole was born on September 7, 1915, in Dayton, Ohio.He graduated from Marion L. Steele High School and went on to attend Ohio University for two years.
Dayton is the sixth-largest city in the state of Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County. A small part of the city extends into Greene County. The 2017 U.S. census estimate put the city population at 140,371, while Greater Dayton was estimated to be at 803,416 residents. This makes Dayton the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Ohio and 63rd in the United States. Dayton is within Ohio's Miami Valley region, just north of Greater Cincinnati.
Marion L. Steele High School, often referred to as Amherst Steele, is a public high school located in Amherst, Ohio, United States, approximately 30 miles (48 km) west of Cleveland. The school is named after a long serving principal of Amherst High, Marion L. Steele.
Ohio University is a public research university in Athens, Ohio. The first university chartered by an Act of Congress and the first to be chartered in Ohio, it was chartered in 1787 by the Congress of the Confederation and subsequently approved for the territory in 1802 and state in 1804, opening for students in 1809. Ohio University is the oldest university in Ohio, the eighth oldest public university in the United States and the 30th oldest university among public's and privates. As of fall 2018, the university's total enrollment at Athens was 20,000, while the all- campus enrollment was just under 35,000.
He enlisted as an aviation cadet in the Air Force on November 22, 1940, at Lubbock, Texas. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in July 1941 and rated as a pilot.
Lubbock is the 11th-most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas and the county seat of Lubbock County. With a population of 256,042 in 2015, the city is also the 83rd-most populous in the United States. The city is located in northwestern part of the state, a region known historically and geographically as the Llano Estacado, and ecologically is part of the southern end of the High Plains, lying at the economic center of the Lubbock metropolitan area, which has a projected 2020 population of 327,424.
Cole was assigned as the co-pilot of the first aircraft, plane # 40-2344, for the famous "Doolittle Raid" following the attack on Pearl Harbor. This was the first B-25 medium bomber to depart the deck of the USS Hornet during the mission, and it was piloted by the leader of the raid, then-Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States' formal entry into World War II the next day. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, and as Operation Z during its planning.
The North American B-25 Mitchell is an American twin-engine, medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation (NAA).
USS Hornet (CV-8), the seventh ship to carry the name Hornet, was a Yorktown-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. During World War II in the Pacific Theater, she launched the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and participated in the Battle of Midway and the Buin-Faisi-Tonolai Raid. In the Solomon Islands campaign, she was involved in the capture and defense of Guadalcanal and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands where she was irreparably damaged by enemy torpedo and dive bombers. Faced with an approaching Japanese surface force, Hornet was abandoned and later torpedoed and sunk by approaching Japanese destroyers. Hornet was in service for a year and six days and was the last US fleet carrier ever sunk by enemy fire. For these actions, she was awarded four service stars, a citation for the Doolittle Raid in 1942, and her Torpedo Squadron 8 received a Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism for the Battle of Midway. Her wreck was located in late January 2019 near the Solomon Islands.
On April 18, 1942, Doolittle and his B-25 crew took off from the Hornet, reached Tokyo, Japan, bombed their target, 2,500 miles (4,000 km). By then, they had been flying for about 13 hours, it was nighttime, the weather was stormy, and Doolittle was unable to locate their landing field in Chuchow. He and his crew linked up after the bailout and were helped through Japanese lines by Chinese guerrillas and American missionary John Birch.then headed for their recovery airfield in China. Doolittle and his crew bailed out safely over China when their B-25 ran out of fuel after flying
Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world. The urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo.
John Morrison Birch was a United States American Baptist minister and missionary, and United States Army Air Forces captain who was a U.S. military intelligence officer in China during World War II. Birch was killed in a confrontation with Chinese Communist soldiers a few days after the war ended. He was posthumously awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal.
He retired from the military in 1966.
Cole was the last surviving participant in the Doolittle Raid. Staff Sergeant David J. Thatcher, gunner of aircraft No. 7, died on June 23, 2016, at the age of 94.Cole was the only one to live longer than Jimmy Doolittle, who died in 1993 at age 96.
On September 19, 2016, the Northrop Grumman B-21 was formally named "Raider" in honor of the Doolittle Raiders.As the last surviving Raider, Cole was present at the naming ceremony during the Air Force Association conference.
Cole died in San Antonio, Texas, on April 9, 2019, at the age of 103.A memorial service for Cole was to be held at Joint Base San Antonio on April 18, the 77th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. He will be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo is a 1944 American war film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It is based on the historic Doolittle Raid, America's first retaliatory air strike against Japan four months after the December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Major Ted William Lawson was an American officer in the United States Army Air Forces, who is known as the author of Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, a memoir of his participation in the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in 1942. The book was subsequently adapted into a film of the same name starring Spencer Tracy, Van Johnson and Robert Mitchum.
Jacob Daniel DeShazer participated in the Doolittle Raid as a staff sergeant and later became a missionary in Japan.
The Purple Heart is a 1944 American war film directed by Lewis Milestone. The film stars Dana Andrews, Richard Conte, Farley Granger, Don "Red" Barry and Trudy Marshall. Eighteen-year-old Farley Granger had a supporting role.
Richard Cole is a British tour manager and author.
Chase Jay Nielsen was a career officer in the U.S. Air Force. He participated in the Doolittle Raid in 1942 and was one of the four surviving prisoners of war from that raid. Nielsen was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Robert Gabel Emmens was a Doolittle Raider and a career United States Air Force officer.
David M. Jones was a United States Air Force pilot and general officer who served with distinction during World War II. He was one of the Doolittle Raiders whose exploits in April 1942 were dramatized in the film Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. He then flew combat missions over North Africa, where he was shot down. He was a German prisoner of war for two and a half years, helping with the April 1944 mass escape at Stalag Luft III.
Richard A. Knobloch was a Brigadier General in the United States Air Force.
William Marsh "Bill" Bower was an American aviator, U.S. Air Force Colonel and veteran of World War II. Bower was the last surviving pilot of the Doolittle Raid, the first air raid to target the Japanese home island of Honshu.
Tom Griffin was an American B-25 bomber navigator who survived the Doolittle Raid in 1942. Griffin attacked Tokyo along with 16 land-based bombers from an aircraft carrier, and later parachuted over China. After relocating to North Africa, he was shot down during an air raid in 1943 and spent time in a prisoner-of-war camp until he was rescued in early 1945. After the war, Griffin moved to Cincinnati, joined the Doolittle Raiders Association, and attended every reunion except the final reunion, which is scheduled in April, 2013. Griffin is survived by two sons.
Colonel Charles Ross Greening was an accomplished pilot and artist. He was one of the 73 men out of the 80 Doolittle Raiders to survive the attack and return home to his family.
Capt. Denver Vernon Truelove was a United States Army Air Forces bombardier who served during World War II. He was one of the eighty Doolittle Raiders who bombed Japan in April 1942. After the Doolittle Raid, Truelove was involved briefly in North Africa. His awards included the Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart.
Lieutenant Colonel Edward J. Saylor, Ret. served in the U.S. Air Force. He was a veteran of World War II and participated in the Doolittle Raid on Japan on April 18, 1942. Saylor was one of the last four surviving Doolittle Raiders at the time of his death in 2015.
The Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider is an American heavy bomber under development by Northrop Grumman. As part of the Long Range Strike Bomber program (LRS-B), it is to be a very long-range, stealth strategic bomber for the United States Air Force capable of delivering conventional and thermonuclear weapons.
MIA Hunters was a Minnesota-based volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to finding and recovering the remains of lost American pilots air crew members missing in action from World War II. MIA Hunters organized at least 34 missions to China, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, the Philippines, and elsewhere to locate the remains at crash sites and unmarked graves, without any charge to the families. They located a number of aircraft associated with milestones in military history, among them the Doolittle Raid and Operation Tidal Wave.
William ‘Billy Jack’ Dieter was a sergeant in the United States Army Air Corps. Dieter was a bombardier on the Green Hornet, the sixth plane to take off from a US carrier as part of the Doolittle Raid, a bold long-range retaliatory air raid on the Japanese main islands, on April 18, 1942, four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The attack was a major morale booster for the United States. Dieter was one of only three airmen to die in the raid itself, when his B-25 Mitchell, 'Green Hornet', crashed on the coast of China, having run out of fuel.
Lieutenant Colonel Horace Ellis Crouch was an American military aviator whose career included service with the United States Army Air Corps and United States Air Force, he was a combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War who served as one of the crewmembers on the Doolittle Raid.
He was 94 and the next-to-last survivor among the mission’s 80 airmen. His death... leaves Richard Cole, age 100, as the last surviving veteran of a legendary chapter in Air Force history. Mr. Cole was a co-pilot alongside Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, the raid’s commander and pilot of its lead plane.
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