Richard Cole, Last of the Doolittle Raiders, dies at 103
Thanks to Ken Bowman for Sponsoring this Class
Richard Cole, the last of the Doolittle Raiders died on April 10. Rest in Peace sir–your Country surely appreciates your heroic service! Join us Tuesday night for a celebration of Richard Cole’s life and the GREAT Doolittle Raiders! Signed Richard E. Cole Print to be given away. Careful: this class is filling up quickly–you must be registered for this FREE event! Cole is pictured 2nd from Right on this picture.
The Doolittle Raid, also known as the Tokyo Raid, commenced on April 18, 1942. Sixteen U.S. Army Air Forces B-25B Mitchell medium bombers were launched without fighter escort from the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carrier USS Hornet, led by (then Col.) Jimmy Doolittle.
The Raid was a total secret to all involved and the members of the raid were chosen by volunteering for a “dangerous secret mission”. The members did not know the target destination until the planes were loaded on the ship and the raid was underway. This was to prevent any “leakage” of information about the raid.
The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders were a group of eighty men from all walks of life who flew into history. They were to fly over Japan, drop their bombs and fly on to land in a part of China that was still free.
Fifteen of the aircraft reached China, and the other one landed in the Soviet Union. All but three of the crew survived, but all the aircraft were lost. Eight crewmen were captured by the Japanese Army in China; three of these were executed. At 103 Richard Cole is the last living veteran.
Intelligence Operations Airman 2nd Class Raymond G. Hughes, Petersburg, KY, entered the Air Force in 1956, serving for four years in the USAF intelligence school Target Planning & Survival unit until 1960. Hughes served during the Cold War with the 8th Air Force 100 Bomb Wing Intelligence Division, primarily with Strategic Air Command.
Airman Hughes continued to serve his community as an instructor at the Yudan School of Self Defense Karate and Judo, where he trained men, women, and children in the art of self-defense. He became a voice for veterans and one of the most respected members of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, where he dedicated his time and energy in making life more comfortable for other members.
Raymond serves as historian and even manager for the USS Hornet Breakfast Group conducts events for veterans at the Cincinnati Hamilton County Public Library, and interviews veterans of all wars in collaboration with the National Archives in Washington, D.C. where he has interviewed 75 veterans to date. Twice each month, he can be found transporting veterans from Twin Towers Retirement Center to shop for personal items. Raymond is involved in the Sons of the American Revolution and takes pride in helping others trace their ancestral lineage.