Retired Lieutenant Colonel Richard Cole (the last surviving veteran who participated in the Durit air strike on Tokyo) died in San Antonio on April 11 at the age of 103, according to US media.
On April 9, Star Spangle reported that Cole was one of the 80 aircrew members who attacked Japans domestic targets for the first time in World War II, and that action brought optimism to the American people to win the war.
Admiral David Goldfein, chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, wrote on Coles death in social media: Theres another vacancy in our formation. The last veteran who participated in the Durit air raid has broken away from the cruel ties of the earth and reunited with his partners.
Cole, who lives in Conford, Texas, was recently hospitalized at Brooke Army Medical Center. Hospital spokesman Robert Whitstone said Cole died there on the morning of 9.
US Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson expressed condolences in the social media. She wrote: I offer my heartfelt condolences to his friends and family, and our Air Force joins them in mourning. We salute him and other brave people who participated in the Durit air raid. They are pioneers in aviation and continue to guide us towards a bright future.
Reported that the first US air attack on Tokyo was planned by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, a famous pilot before the war, so it is also called Doolittle Air Attack. On April 18, 1942, 16 U.S. Army Air Force B-25B bombers took off from the carrier Bumblebee and bombed Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The crew was then ordered to land in China.
They cant get back on the carrier. Given that the Japanese army dominated hundreds of miles in all directions around Japan, whether sea or land, the best thing for them was to survive a hard landing on hostile territory.
Cole is Dullets co-pilot. As pilots, Durit and Cole dropped incendiary bombs to mark bombing targets for other bombers.
Reported that, although aware of the danger, all the air crew involved in the war were voluntarily invited to participate in the battle, most of them were rescued by the Chinese anti-Japanese army and civilians. Coles parachute hung from a tree after Parachuting over China. The next day he met Durit on the ground. He then carried out a supply mission on the hump route between India and China.
Reported that the mission of the raid on Tokyo almost achieved no military objectives, but the mission showed the allies that, although far away from the United States, Japan is not impossible to be militarily attacked. Cole told the Star-Spangled Banner in 2016 that the raid had boosted morale at home, and that was one of its goals.
The morale of those of us was not low, but it was bad throughout the United States at that time, Cole said. Japan has occupied the Pacific Ocean, and they will never stop. If we hadnt gone to bomb Tokyo, the Japanese would not have stopped until they hit our West coast.
At a commemoration in 2013, Richard Cole stood in front of a B-25 bomber. (Information picture)
Source: Responsible Editor of Reference Message Network: Wang Xu_NBJS8023