Author Topic: RIP Dick Cole ....  (Read 102 times)

Online RYou

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RIP Dick Cole ....
« on: April 09, 2019, 07:56:21 PM »
...and the other 79 Doolittle Raiders.  Dick Cole, Lt Col. Ret., was the last of the 80 crew to pass.  9 days short of the 77th anniversary, April 18, 1942.

Offline ViseGrip

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Re: RIP Dick Cole ....
« Reply #1 on: Today at 10:44:48 AM »

Sixty-one of Doolittle’s men survived the raid and World War II, and in December 1946 they reunited in Miami to celebrate the 50th birthday of their leader. “Early on Doolittle promised the survivors he would throw a party for them,” Cole told the National World War II Museum. “It gave us a chance to renew the camaraderie of the group, and it gave us a chance to honor the people that gave their lives on the mission and those who had left the group since.”

The men had such a good time that the reunion became an annual affair. In 1959 a new tradition began after the city of Tucson, Arizona, presented the Doolittle Raiders with 80 silver goblets, one for each participant. Each man’s name was etched twice on his goblet—one right side up, the other upside down. At each reunion, the raiders raised their goblets and toasted each other with a sip of 1896 Hennessy VS cognac, its vintage matching Doolittle’s birth year, before turning upside down the goblets of any men who had died since their last meeting.

The Doolittle Raider goblets on display in the Air Power Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Cole built a portable, velvet-lined display case that was used to transport the goblets each year to the reunion locations, which moved around the country. Since 2005, the goblets have been kept on permanent display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. (Prior to that, they had been kept at the Air Force Academy.)

Cole was not the youngest of the Doolittle Raiders, but the 101-year-old is now the lone survivor after the passing of Staff Sergeant David Thatcher last June. At a ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, not far from where he watched Doolittle circles the skies as a boy, Cole lifted a goblet of cognac aloft and toasted his 79 comrades that were lost on the mission or had passed away since. With that, he turned over Thatcher’s goblet, leaving one silver cup still standing upright.

(rest of the article here
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