Air Force honors Doolittle Raider with posthumous promotion

SAN ANTONIO  — The United States Air Force honored a pilot involved in one of history’s most legendary air raids on Tuesday, September 7.

On what would have been the 106th birthday of retired Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, Charles Q. Brown, the Air Force chief of staff, posthumously promoted Cole to the rank of colonel in a ceremony held at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas.

Cole was the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, a group of 80 crew members led by Lt. Col. James “Jimmy” Doolittle, who flew 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers from the USS Hornet aircraft carrier on April 18, 1942 in an air raid to attack Tokyo after the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. Cole was Doolittle’s co-pilot for the raid, piloting the lead aircraft tasked with dropping incendiary bombs to mark targets for other bombers.
After Cole died in April of 2019, Congress authorized his promotion to colonel in December of that year.
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