Today we raise our goblets to a true U.S. Air Force legend.
Retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Richard “Dick” Cole, the last surviving Doolittle Raider, has passed away at the age of 103. As a Lieutenant, Cole was the Co-pilot to Jimmy Doolittle during the infamous Doolittle Raid.
In honor of him we remember how the Doolittle Raiders contributed to our proud heritage. Twelfth Air Force was created during the U.S. buildup of forces for World War II, by the Army Air Forces. The numbered air force activated on August 20, 1942.
Brigadier General James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, became its commander later that year. He was fresh off the historic Doolittle Raid, the surprise bombing of Tokyo, Japan, in April 1942. The recently promoted general officer worked to establish a fighting force capable of opening up another, this time, southern front in the European Theater.