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Last WWII ‘Doolittle Raider’ dies at 103

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Richard "Dick" Cole, the last surviving member of World War II’s Doolittle Raiders, died Tuesday in Texas at the age of 103. The president of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association told The Air Force Times that Cole died in San Antonio on Tuesday morning with his son and daughter by his side. ( More...

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Not wanting to minimize anything our Aviators do today, however the bravery shown by that generation of pilots, is nothing short of amazing. It is sad that they now have passed on.

Yet, one can hope that their stories will be told again and again, so that new generations of Aviators can see the gallantry they displayed, and carry on the tradition of service.


Tom Bruce 9
My uncle...born 1928... 90 years old... joined navy at age 17 and was sailing to Okinawa in 1945 when war ended... just about the youngest WW2 veteran.. 90!... they are all fading away..sadly...
Kobe Hunte 2
very interesting and sad!
My eternal gratitude to the heroes that made a free world possible. My country (Italy) was on the wrong side of the line, my dad was a sailor on a destroyer and was captured by the nazis when Italy surrendered. He was sent to a prison camp in Germany and was freed by the allied troops in 1945. Probably I owe my own existence to people like Col. Cole, so I feel a special connection to them.

Godspeed Col. Cole !!
Col. Cole is a shining example of the American troops of WW 2. I’m proud to say my father (who would be 98) served in the Pacific. Heroes one and all !!!
Eric Russell 4
I had the privilege of meeting Lt Col Dick Cole at the Chino Air Show las May. He was a 102 then and the oldest person I have ever met. Still sharp and graceful. He shook my hand and thanked me for my service in the U S Navy. God Speed Lt. Col.
Kobe Hunte 3
JohnTrolinger 3
RIP the last of the Raiders.
Bernie20910 3
My wife's father was aboard a tanker in Tokyo Bay when the surrender was signed. Her step-father was a SeaBee on Okinawa. One of my uncles was a bosun's mate aboard the landing craft Macarthur stepped ashore from when he returned to the Philippines. All three were some of the nicest guys you ever wanted to meet but you sure didn't want to cross them. We still have men like that today, but I worry that they might be approaching extinction.
Mark Weiser 3
As a veteran and a pilot (UH1) I can only stand in awe and admiration of the men and women that flew aircraft that were basic by any definition, heroes come in all shapes and sizes, but they all stand tall among us, god bless all who flew those missions that saved the world, and give this generation the vision to see that sometimes it's the only way to keep our freedom. Stop talking silly ideas and protect our liberties while we still have them. We all owe that to these men!
As another Huey driver, I concur. Everyone who tried is a hero and most are dead. Liberty is what’s worth risking it all.
We are proud of those who have protected what we have today. We are all a witness to history in the making.
Thank You for your Courage and Service. Rest In Peace!
DanTerzian 2
Great book called "Target Tokyo" written in 2015 tells the story in incredible detail and better than anything I have read before. Unbelievable what that generation of people was able to pull off. Makes today look all the sadder.
They don’t call these people heroes of the “Greatest human Generation” for nothing. Can you imagine for a second how today’s world would react to what was happening in the entire world then. And THESE guys on Doolittle’s team then were the definition of BRAVEST men of the Greatest Generation. RIP to them all. They’ll always be heroes.
A great hero and dedicated man being the last member of the Raiders certainly deserves a big thank you for his service. God Bless you Colonel Richard Cole.
Gary Berrian 2
True heroes !
Roy Hunte 2
Cleared to flight level Infiniti.
B Johnson 1
-and I got to actually FLY in one of the few remaining B-25s THIS week. I thought of him while in the air.(Collings).
Respect, Sir, R.I.P.
Dick Cole was a cadet at Farr Military Academy in an old comic book.
lyn williams 1
God Speed Lt. Col Richard Cole. Thank you for your service from a grateful American.


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