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Last of the Doolittle Raiders, Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, has passed

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It is being reported that Doolittle's co-pilot, Richard E. Cole, the last surviving Doolittle Raider has passed away. The last goblet will finally be turned.

 

Rest in Honored Peace, Sir.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Birdgun Quail, SASS #63663 said:

Solemn Salute...:FlagAm:

 

^

Honorably stated..... :FlagAm:

 

..........Widder

 

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RIP, Sir. :FlagAm:

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Heroes all. May they rest in peace and honored glory. :(:FlagAm:

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There are so few WW2 Vets left today; these great B-25 Flyers were some of the best!  Hoss C.

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My dad Blue Boy sass46773 says they made a big thing of the raid at the factory in Kansas City Kansas where he worked making B-25s. Not many of that age group left.

 

Imis

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Imis Twohofon,SASS # 46646 said:

My dad Blue Boy sass46773 says they made a big thing of the raid at the factory in Kansas City Kansas where he worked making B-25s. Not many of that age group left.

 

Imis

It was indeed a big thing. Huge! It gave Americans a much needed morale boost after the disastrous Japanese attack in the Pacific where we lost Wake Island, Guam, the Philippines, etc. The emperor had ensured his people that the US would never be able to attack Japan. 

I bet the nearest bar to the North American factory in KC was packed after work on April 18th of ‘42. :FlagAm:

My granddad flew Mitchells in N. Africa. One of my favorite planes.

https://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/kansas-city-b-25-factory-180951624/

Edited by Utah Bob #35998
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You can still see portions of the runways at the Fairfax site today. It remained open as an airport into the 1980s. It was closed when GM underwent a big expansion where the plant sits atop the runways.

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5 hours ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

It was indeed a big thing. Huge! It gave Americans a much needed morale boost after the disastrous Japanese attack in the Pacific where we lost Wake Island, Guam, the Philippines, etc. The emperor had ensured his people that the US would never be able to attack Japan. 

I bet the nearest bar to the North American factory in KC was packed after work on April 18th of ‘42. :FlagAm:

My granddad flew Mitchells in N. Africa. One of my favorite planes.

https://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/kansas-city-b-25-factory-180951624/

 

One of my favorites as well. If something could be "brutally elegant," the Mitchell would fit the description for me. With the gull wings and twin rudders, they are a sight to behold. I will see if I can find some of the pics I have taken from a couple of different flyovers honoring the Doolittle Raiders in the past.

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Posted (edited)

Back in the late 50s my dad worked for an aircraft maintenance outfit at The Miami airport. They had the contract to do repairs and upgrades on Batista’s air force. Dad took me to the hangar one day when I was about 9. There was a Cuban B-25 that was in for engines replacement. Dad put me up in the bomb bay for a few minutes. An awesome memory!:wub:

Edited by Utah Bob #35998
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Posted (edited)

If you love the B-25 Mitchel , which by the way was the product of North American Aviation in So Cal. (Old factory at the corner of Aviation  and Imperial on the SE corner of LAX) you need to find and read the book Indestructible,

It is the true story of Pappy Gunn and how he single handed changed the war in the South Pacific with his "illegal" modifications on the B-25s. Pappy was a retired USN Chief / pilot in the first all enlisted Squadron in the USN in the 20s. He flew off the USS Langley, the first USN Carrier. He retired from the Navy in the mid 30s, moved his family to the Philippines and stated a small, inter island airline with three airplanes. A Staggered Wing Beach and two Beech 18s (became the C-45 in the USA Air Corps)  After Pearl Harbor and the same day attack on Manila, the Air Corps seized his airplanes for the war use. So Pappy join the Air Corps and was made a Captain. ( he later retired as a full Colonel well after ww2)

Pappy saw the B-25 enter the Theater and used only as a medium bomber from 20k feet. The Jap Zeros ate them up. so Pappy figured out how to jerry rig four Browning 50 cals in the nose, and fly the B-25 at very low level and attack Jap ships.  He did so much more to define the weapons & tactics for the Mitchel,  but get the book and read it; you will not be sorry. It has two authors, but I only can remember one, his daughter, so her last name is Gunn too.  cheers,  Hoss C.

 

Edited by Hoss Carpenter
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