HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force honors legacy by celebrating a legend’s birthday

Doolittle Raiders

Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, and his wife Dawn Goldfein, speak with Lt. Col. (Ret.) Richard Cole, the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Sept. 7, 2018. Goldfein called to wish Cole a happy 103rd birthday. The Doolittle raid was an air attack on Japan by the U.S. during World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Cossaboom)

Doolittle Raiders

Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, and his wife, Dawn Goldfein, call the last remaining survivor of the Doolittle Raid, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Richard Cole, for his 103rd birthday on Sept. 7, 2018, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Cole was mission commander Gen. Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot during the raid, which was a World War II air bombing that targeted Tokyo on April 18, 1942 and is credited with lifting American spirits during the war in the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tara Stetler)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AFNS) -- When an Air Force legend celebrates their 103rd birthday, no doubt the service’s senior leader will take notice. 

The last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. (Ret.) Richard Cole, received a special birthday greeting from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein Sept. 7, 2018.

“I am honored to celebrate your 103rd birthday,” Goldfein said to Cole. “It’s because of Air Force pioneers like you and your peers that the Air Force was shaped into the service it is today, and that we are able to celebrate its upcoming 71st birthday.” 

Cole and the other Raiders are an example of the Air Force’s successful history of innovation and joint operations.

On April 18, 1942, then-captain Cole co-piloted then-Lt. Col. James “Jimmy” Doolittle’s No. 1 bomber, and their aircraft was the first to drop bombs during the raid over Japan.

Cole is a living reminder of the warrior spirit from which the Air Force was born. His selfless service and dedication to country resulted in an active-duty career that spanned from 1940-1962, Goldfein said. 

Engage

Facebook Twitter
An #F16 receives fuel from a #KC135 assigned to the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron in support of Oper… https://t.co/CYG4ee8bo1
#ICYMI: #AirForce Vice Chief of Staff delivers remarks during an AFA seminar. https://t.co/gYT3UMPmtr https://t.co/0tr3D1RjfQ
A #USAF aircrew performed airdrop operations from a #C130 Hercules assigned to the 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squa… https://t.co/MfbkuySF8a
.@KunsanAirBase and 38th Fighter Group strengthen alliance through US-ROKAF Friendship Day. https://t.co/tdybfYWs8a https://t.co/IwGAM9yima
A #USAF #F16 receives fuel from a #KC135 w/the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron in support of Operation… https://t.co/9ufagbwXmp
To enhance their ability to adapt, train and integrate, Wisconsin @AirNatlGuard #Airmen conducted aerial refueling… https://t.co/nzCMePgXU7
BREAKING: The #AirForce announces bases to support #B21 Raider mission. @Team_Tinker @EdwardsAFBhttps://t.co/j92e7uKAro
14-year-old Fallon Emery, a cancer warrior, was recognized for her fighting spirit as #AirmanForADay.… https://t.co/cVaKy4anEb
#ICYMI: #AirForce Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson recognized Cadet 2nd Class Kyle Haak as Cadet of the Y… https://t.co/djHw2rBNFL
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thanks, COLAF & @USEmbassyBogota, for the warm welcome. Colombia is one of our most capable & reliable partners in Lat…
RT @SecAFOfficial: We want small innovative companies to work with the @usairforce and we’re willing to change the way we do business for i…
#ICYMI: Luxembourgers and Americans gathered at #Luxembourg #American Cemetery and Memorial in Luxembourg, Nov. 11,… https://t.co/sUOvKZ6WWE
Members of the @AFResearchLab participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art a… https://t.co/n5eFygccZc
His legacy shall live on! Retired CMSgt Alvin Benner was honored @TeamBarksdale for serving over 50 years of combi… https://t.co/KO5C4uWdUJ
RT @theCaGuard: Two of the California Army National Guard's new M-model UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters head from SoCal to NorCal, Nov. 10, to…
When it comes to diagnostic imaging, doctors seek out radiology and these @341MissileWing #Airmen detect medical is… https://t.co/QUEutqdNGV
A #VietnamWar vet & #PurpleHeart recipient, discussed with @RAFMildenhall #Airmen how tragedy on the battlefield of… https://t.co/Y0uMVhAKrW
RT @andclev: .@SecAFOfficial says the @usairforce is going to have a pitch day on March 6-7, aiming to attract small, innovative businesses…
With the help of #Airmen all across the #AirForce, @TeamTyndall's munitions flight have assessed their munitions fa… https://t.co/R46vj2thnD