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   Vol. 18 No. 27
Friday April 12, 2019

There Will Always Be One
Doolittle Raider Cole

     The attack took place less than five months after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
     Jimmy Doolittle moved from aviation hero and 1930s stunt pilot to immortality, leading an intrepid band of hero airmen on a daring raid of Tokyo at a time when the morale and spirit of America was badly impacted by Pearl Harbor.
     When news broke that a force of B25 light bombers had taken off from the bobbing decks of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers under cover of darkness and flown all the way to Tokyo, dumping bombs on the supposedly invincible Empire of Japan, it lifted the nation and gave the United States a badly needed shot in the arm.
     President Roosevelt thanked General Doolittle, awarding the airman the Congressional Medal of Honor.
     Every year after WWII, the 80 Tokyo Raiders would gather to remember and relive the past.
     But as time went on, The Tokyo Riders saw their numbers dwindle down to just one.
     Now Lieutenant Colonel Richard “Dick” Cole, the copilot of General Jimmy Doolittle and the last of the 80 Tokyo Raiders, died Tuesday at a military hospital in Texas.
     He was 103.
     His last public appearance was April 18, 2017, when he alone represented his comrades for the raid’s 75th anniversary at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio.
     We bid a final farewell to the people who lifted a nation in early 1942.
     But thinking about the Doolittle Raiders, there will always be one.
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