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Happy Birthday Col. Richard Cole, last surviving Doolitle Raider

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   Col Richard Cole is the last surviving member of Doolittle Raiders,  and turned 102 years old today.  They were the first to bomb Japan after Pearl Harbor.   Thank God for these great American Heroes, and the millions of men who fought for our freedom during WW II.  We are free today because of them.

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Amen. 

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Well said!

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So before this, did they open the bottle of Scotch? I think it was Scotch. When there was only two left, they were supposed to open it, if i recall. The display was in the USAF museum.

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Is there a website or similar to wish him a happy birthday and thanks? What history. Amazing to have him still among us.

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8 hours ago, rcb said:

So before this, did they open the bottle of Scotch? I think it was Scotch. When there was only two left, they were supposed to open it, if i recall. The display was in the USAF museum.

http://www.wwiifoundation.org/category/films/doolittle-raiders-final-toast/

Looks like they had their final toast awhile ago 

Sid

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Ah, 2013. Something actually newsworthy and I never heard anything about it. Not surprised... but still. An amazing story soon to pass into legend.

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I was an extremely lucky kid. My dad, WWII combat vet, infantry stayed in the US Army after the war. I grew up knowing many of our men who answered the call or were drafted in WWII. These men were my heroes!

I have no idea what the men who were on the Doolittle raid thought they were going accomplish, they had to know it wasn't much, but that action has certainly echoed through they years!

Rick

  

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One of the greatest stories from WWII. Have read Thirty Seconds over Tokyo more times over than any other book.

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Hats off to Col. Cole and his brothers in arms, their bravery and patriotism will continue to echo through the ages.  This country has been blessed with men like him who stand in our defense against all threats, no matter the cost.  God bless the U.S. soldiers/veterans and their families.

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Truely American heros,

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1 hour ago, oldtanker said:

I have no idea what the men who were on the Doolittle raid thought they were going accomplish, they had to know it wasn't much, but that action has certainly echoed through they years!

Rick:  It was all about the statement, not the damage.  They knew it would only be a fly bite of physical damage, but the message it sent in Japan as well as at home was huge!  Remember America was reeling from Pearl harbor and Wake island, and the American people needed some good news to inspire them!  That is what the raid was all about!  Those flyers knew the importance of what they were doing was far beyond the few bombs they dropped!  Raweligh

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I personally think it was more about doing that something the American people needed at the time too. I don't think any US planners had any idea of the repercussions it would/did have in Japan. But I'm thinking of the men as they boarded those B25's to launch. They knew it was most likely a one way mission. And not their thoughts 50 years later.......I'd love to know their thoughts as they were starting the mission.

 

Rick

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I took this picture January of last year at the Air Force Mueseum in Dayton. At that time there were 2 still alive. That is what the 2 goblets sitting right side up signifies. All the upside down goblets signifies those that had passed on. Each one had a name enscribed on it. 

 

Seeing that display was sobering however when you sit back and think how few of those veterans are left. I got to thinking about those that I knew that were veterans of that war and now they are almost all gone:(

Rick is right. It really was more of a propoganda coup more than any major physical damage done to the Japanese war machine. However, there was one unintended consequence that ended up eventually in our favor. The surprise strike on the Japanese home islands forced the Imperial high command to change the operations they had planned. Originally they planned on continuing there conquest in Southeast Asia and the surrounding areas. After the Doolittle Raid the high command was humiliated enough that they wanted a battle to draw our Aircraft carriers out into it so they could destroy them. This was their game plan for the Battle of Midway. The only hitch for them was that they lost the battle. That was the turning point in the Pacific War for us. Not that there wasn't any hard battles to be fought as the Pacific was a very cruel war for us. Just that the Japanese weren't as immenant threat as they were before the battle.

20160109_103907.jpg

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One of my cousins was married to Lt. Herndon, the navigator on the 8th plane to takeoff. Instead of flying to China after the raid, they turned and flew to Russia. In the 70's was it released that only the pilot, navigator and Col. Doolittle knew that they were ordered to fly to Russia by FDR to test the reaction of the then neutral Russians against bombing raids on Japan by the US.

     They were held prisoners by the Russians for quite a while before they managed to escape.   I got to meet him once and he was a amazing man to talk to. If I remember right he passed away in 2006 or '07.

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Happy birthday and thank you sir!

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Happy birthday to Col. Cole!  As the son of a WW 2 veteran I think of the service and sacrifice made everyday.

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On ‎9‎/‎8‎/‎2017 at 10:39 AM, oldtanker said:

I personally think it was more about doing that something the American people needed at the time too. I don't think any US planners had any idea of the repercussions it would/did have in Japan.

Rick

I agree.  It was more of an act to boost the morale of the American public than any strategic or tactical military action to impact Japan.

In that it achieved its intent.

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On 9/7/2017 at 8:22 PM, MCC said:

"The Greatest Generation"!!!

X2

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I just read that Col Cole died Wednesday. The last goblet is upside down in the case☹️. Here's to you guys. RIP

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I watched a story on Col.Cole this morning on "CBS this morning". Some of the bravest ever! Wanted no more credit than knowing he just was there to do his job.

 

 

 

 

 

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