LTC Richard Eugene “Dick” Cole

LTC Richard Eugene “Dick” Cole

Birth
Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, USA
Death 9 Apr 2019 (aged 103)
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 198217258 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, the last of World War II’s Doolittle Raiders, passed away early Monday morning in San Antonio with his daughter, Cindy, and son, Rich, at his side, according to reports from family and friends.

Cole was 103 years old. Arrangements are being made for a memorial service at Randolph Air Force Base, and Cole will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.Last member of the Doolittle Raiders. Lt Col. Rickard E. "Dick" Cole, 103, was the last remaining member of the Doolittle Raiders of World War II. Under the leadership of Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, the raiders were America's response to the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. In April 1942, just four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Doolittle led sixteen B-25B Mitchell Medium Bombers on a raid to bomb Tokyo, Japan. Launching from the USS Hornet, the raiders bombed significant target on the main Island of Honshu. Unable to return to the USS Hornet, 15 of the 16 bombers landed in China, all of which crashed. The 16th plane landed successfully in Russia. This daring raid accomplished little in the way of damage, but boosted the morale of the American people. It was the first good news since the beginning of the war. Richard Cole had finished High School in Ohio and two years at Ohio University when he enlisted into the U.S. Army Air Corps in November 1940. By 1941 he had been promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. For the attack Cole was the co-pilot of the first plane to leave the Hornet with Col Doolittle as the pilot. After the raid the five member crew bailed out over China as their plane ran out of fuel. They survived landing and were protected by the Chinese people and American Missionaries. The rest of his time in the war was spent in the China-Burma-India theater of operation. Cole remained in the Air Corps until relieved in 1947. Six months later he returned to active duty serving as an Air Operations Officer in various locations. Cole was awarded the Bronze Star Air Medal, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.Military figure. He was the last surviving airman to participate in the Doolittle Raid led by then Lt. Colonel James "Jimmy" Harold Doolittle. Cole was the co-pilot of Doolittle's first B-25 aircraft, designated Plane # 40-2344, which took off from the USS Hornet and bombed Tokyo, Japan on April 18, 1942. He and other crew members bailed out over China when it ran out of fuel. He was awarded three Distinguished Flying Cross Citations and retired from the Air Force on December 31, 1966.


Family Members

Parents
Children

  • Created by: wndwlker
  • Added: 9 Apr 2019
  • Find A Grave Memorial 198217258
  • wings214
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for LTC Richard Eugene “Dick” Cole (7 Sep 1915–9 Apr 2019), Find A Grave Memorial no. 198217258, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by wndwlker (contributor 47340661) .