On the 75th anniversary of Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, the Air Force Museum hosts the last surviving member of the famous WWII bombing raid.

Texas ceremony to honor last Doolittle Raider, Dayton native

The last Doolittle Raider will be honored in a series of upcoming memorial ceremonies and the first is already scheduled for next week.

Retired Lt. Col. Richard Cole — the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders and a Dayton native — died Tuesday at the age of 103.

Retired Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, copilot to Jimmy Doolittle during the Doolittle Raid, smiles as he honors the U.S. flag during the singing of the national anthem at an airshow in Burnet, Texas. Cole was honored by the community and guests as the only remaining military service member alive from the April 18, 1942, Doolittle Raid. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)
Photo: Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

A memorial service in rememberence of Cole is set for Thursday at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, said his daughter Cindy Chal told the Associated Press. The day will also mark the 77th anniversery of the Doolittle Tokyo Raid which Cole was part of.

» MORE: Last surviving Doolittle Raider, a Dayton native, dies

When a Raider dies, a survivor turns a goblet upside-down with the name of the fellow airman engraved on it. A ceremony to turn over Cole’s goblet will also take place at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force though no date has been set yet.

Cole will later be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, said Tom Casey, president of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association. No funeral details were available as of Friday, said a spokesman for the cemetery.


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