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  1. #1 Lt. Col. Richard Cole, the Last Doolittle Raider, Dies at Age 103 
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    Apr 2014
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    Lt. Col. Richard Cole, the Last Doolittle Raider, Dies at Age 103

    Sad news—the last Doolittle Raider has died. Lt. Col. Richard Cole passed away Monday at the age of 103.

    Cole was the final surviving member of the daring raid on Tokyo by carrier-launched B-25s. As I wrote for his 100th birthday in 2015:

    Col. Richard Cole was the co-pilot of "Crew 1," which means he sat alongside Col. Jimmy Doolittle at the tip of the tip of the American spear aimed at Imperial Japan. The Doolittle Raid on April 18, 1942, was a virtual suicide mission. It was a daring sea-launched bombing mission in the earliest days of World War II.

    After Pearl Harbor, Americans were desperate to hit back, and that first hit was the Doolittle Raid. Sixteen Army Air Force B-25s took off from the USS Hornet to hit multiple Japanese cities. The plan was to fly to China because a B-25 could not land on an aircraft carrier. Only one of the 16 planes actually landed safely -- in the Soviet Union. The fate of the rest of the crews was a story of heroism and sacrifice.
    The material damage done was negligible. The psychological damage and effect was enormous. It let the Japanese people and government know that they were vulnerable to attack. Because the Japanese knew from the picket boats that spotted the Hornet that Doolittle had been carrier-borne, the raid swayed the IJN and IJA into proceeding with the plan to attack Midway. They believed this would draw the USN carriers - they thought the USN only had 2 in the Pacific - into a battle in which they would be sunk. In the event, the USN had three carriers, one was sunk, while all four IJN carriers at the battle were sunk.
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  2. #2 RIP Sir 
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Lt Col Dick Cole, the last of the legendary Doolittle Raiders who boosted American morale with a daring air raid on Japan in the fifth month of World War II, died Tuesday morning in San Antonio at 103.
    A longtime resident of Comfort, Cole recently was hospitalized at Brooke Army Medical Center, where a series of high-profile visitors dropped by to see him, including the Air Force’s chief of staff, Gen. Dave Goldfein.
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