Dick Cole, Last Surviving Member Of The World War II Doolittle Raiders, Passes Away At 103

America is in mourning this week after the death of retired Air Force Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole,” who passed away in Texas on Tuesday at the age of 103. Dick was the last surviving member of the legendary Doolittle Raiders, who fought in World War II.

Cole was mission commander Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot in the 1942 bombing attack on Japan that occurred five months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. This raid has since been credited with giving the United States a morale boost that helped to turn the tide of the war in the Pacific.

“I think the main thing was that you had to go in with a positive attitude,” Cole said last year of the mission. “I really didn’t worry about it. It was our job, and we knew what to expect.”

Tributes have been pouring in for Cole since his death.

“Our Nation has lost a legend. Our thoughts are with the family of Lt. Col. Dick Cole, the last of the Doolittle Raiders, who passed away at age 103,” tweeted Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. “He was a true trailblazer, and his selfless legacy of service lives on in our Airmen of today and tomorrow.”

“R.I.P Lt Colonel Dick Cole, last surviving Doolittle Raider. An extraordinary man. It was an true honor to know him,” actor Gary Sinise tweeted alongside a photo of him with Cole.

“Lt Col Dick Cole has slipped the surly bonds of Earth & reunited w/his fellow Doolittle Raiders. We offer our eternal thanks & condolences to his family,” wrote General Dave Goldfein. “We will proudly carry the torch he & his fellow Raiders handed us. May we never forget the long blue line…it’s who we are.”

We are grateful to Dick Cole for all the sacrifices he made for our country. May he rest in peace.

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