AFA Honors Doolittle Raiders
April 18th marked the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. AFA Executive Vice President Denise Hollywood spoke at a wreath laying ceremony honoring the Doolittle Raiders at the Air Force Memorial. Also speaking were Mr. Tim Holbert, executive director, American Veterans Center; Ms. Wang Yuehong, counselor, Chinese Embassy; and Ms. Mae Krier, co-founder, National Rosie the Riveter Day.
On April 20th, in Washington, D.C., our Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies inaugurated its first Airpower Heritage Salute. This year’s honoree was retired Lt Col Dick Cole. Best known as Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot on the famed April 18, 1942, raid against Japan, Cole and his fellow flyers put everything on the line as their B-25 Mitchell bombers took off from the deck of USS Hornet and headed for Japan. Following this daring mission, Cole pioneered air supply over the Himalayas critical in keeping China in the war. His final combat assignment saw him fly with the First Air Commando Group in the aerial invasion of Burma that marks the birth of Air Force special operations. After World War II, Cole continued to serve in the newly established US Air Force, retiring in 1966. To those of us looking back on this incredible life marked by dedication to duty, one word stands above all when seeking to describe Cole: hero. Appraising the situation himself, he notes that he was just doing his job.
AFA has a rich history with the Doolittle Raiders. Lt Col Cole announced the name of the newest B-21 bomber, Raider, honoring his colleagues at our Air, Space & Cyber Conference last fall. Our AFA Headquarters building is named the Doolittle Building because of the legacy of Doolittle and his Raiders.
AFA salutes the Raiders and their historic mission and will continue to preserve their legacy by highlighting the dominance of Airpower.