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
The #TotalForce is here and representing at #ASC19. Here's a lineup of tomorrow's events. https://t.co/vxAw3uzlVR
USAF is speaking with #Airmen attending #ASC19 and learning more about their conference experiences. Watch to hear… https://t.co/x5bYJT3oxA
#ICYMI, some of our stellar #Airmen were honored today at the #ASC19 with an awards ceremony. See them here: https://t.co/aqPYQqyiS6
#DrWillRoper: These are the things we need to trend in our #USAF. We need to make these go viral. #deftAFhttps://t.co/p4OUvVMSwi
To maintain a competitive acquisitions system we have to change as the world changes. https://t.co/r4vx6BDgS8
.@ActingSecAF: It truly has been an honor of a lifetime to serve with you these last few months as Acting Secretary… https://t.co/xugoAsWNQq
.@ActingSecAF: We’re building a 21st century force for the Information Age & we can’t do it w/o you. Your ideas, yo… https://t.co/XyKxI3AFQJ
.@ActingSecAF: As @GenDaveGoldfein has maintained, victory is not a birthright, it has to be fought for! America ha… https://t.co/WBlqoHveh4
.@ActingSecAF: Data, information, technology…these are the things that will ensure we compete, deter & win against… https://t.co/tO9igNFFlF
.@ActingSecAF: If the entire @DeptofDefense transitioned to conditioned based mx we could save as much as $15B/yr.… https://t.co/OGFAxl94FM
.@ActingSecAF: We kicked off an initiative in the #USAF working w/ industry to install & sustain #5G networks at 10… https://t.co/rUb5MMrCFv
.@ActingSecAF: The government must spin on tech advancements from industry & the private sector. The same tech that… https://t.co/gMOSFfM2V5
.@ActingSecAF: The #DigitalAF is a transformation in the way we employ data, tech, & infrastructure to remain dominant in the 21st century.
.@ActingSecAF: Instead of relying on one specific platform for future C2, we’re developing a robust open architectu… https://t.co/JfMwoMlQu0
.@ActingSecAF: It will take true teamwork across all forces and domains to meet the difficult challenges posed by future adversaries.
.@ActingSecAF: Victory in combat will depend less on discrete warfighting platforms & more on the networks, data, a… https://t.co/KmrtRj4CRH
.@ActingSecAF: It’s time we truly harness the power of the Information Age and reclaim our significant competitive technological advantage.
.@ActingSecAF: While we need to get bigger, we must also get better. #AirForceWeNeed