75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid
Surviving Doolittle Raider, Lt Col Dick Cole and Panchito owner, Larry Kelley at Oshkosh, Wi
UPDATE: Lt Col Dick Cole will be making an appearance at W & W 2017. Col Cole will be on hand Friday night at the Big Band Show, where we hope to commemorate the 75th anniversary and then will be back on Saturday. Come by, shake his hand and congratulate him on 102 years young and the 75th anniversary.
This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid and think fondly of the last remaining survivor, Lt Col Dick Cole.
Lt Col Dick Cole was copilot to Jimmy Doolittle on April 18, 1942, during World War II, when 16 B-25 bombers flew off the deck of the USS Hornet aircraft carrier to bomb Japan. This year will mark Dick’s 102nd birthday!! Earlier this year, Dick took a fall that broke his arm and sidelined him from his appearances. He was able to make it to Oshkosh Wisconsin and helped celebrate and honor the Doolittle Raiders.
COMFORT — Dick Cole is fond of saying he’s a big believer in luck and never tried to manufacture it.
Not that he had to.
Luck, like serendipitous moments and sweet victories in love and war, just came his way. Take the time his B-25B pilot, Capt. Vernon Stintzi, fell ill with an ulcer as training neared for a secret mission.
Cole, fearing the entire crew would be scratched, asked the mission commander to keep them on. It was a bold request for a second lieutenant out of flight training at Randolph Field, but Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle did him one better, taking Stintzi’s seat on their plane.
“That might have been the luck. Not for (Stintzi), but for me,” Cole said softly, laughing. “For me and the rest of the crew.”