When Lt. Col. Richard Cole lifted off from the deck of the USS Hornet in his B-25 bomber flown by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle in 1942 the mission was clear albeit beyond comprehension: Bomb Japanese targets and land secretly in China
Then the unthinkable happened – the Hornet was spotted pushing the takeoff location an additional 200 miles away.
This mission didn’t become a difficult one, it became a suicidal one. None of the men expected to make it back alive.
However, by the grace of God and an incredible tailwind, that very thing happened.
“I guess I was just very fortunate,” Cole said. “I say its good luck.”
Cole is now one of two survivors of that lucky bunch. On Labor Day, he turned 100. Join us in the comments by wishing him a Happy Birthday!!
From the Washington Times:
On Monday, one of the last two surviving members of the “Doolitte Raiders” from World War II will celebrate his 100th birthday.
As one of Doolittle Raiders, retired Lt. Col. Richard Cole defied the odds in what was considered a suicide mission to bomb Japan in 1942.
Mr. Cole was co-pilot for Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, who led 16 B-25 bombers on the mission that is considered an event that changed the nation’s morale following the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Mr. Cole was one of 80 Army Air Corps members who volunteered for the top-secret mission. The Raiders planned to take off from the deck of the USS Hornet, bomb targets in Japan and then land in China.