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Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole, the Last of the Doolittle Raiders, Dies.

IN REMEMBRANCE…..

My Poetry That Rhymes

On this date in 1942, Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle led a raid of 16 B-25 bombers on Tokyo, Japan, launched from the USS Hornet. The raid was in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor some four months earlier. It was the first time B-25s had been launched from an aircraft carrier and many thought it couldn’t be done. Japan thought they were immune to attacks from far-away America and the raid devastated Japanese moral and boosted that of the United States. (See “The Doolittle Raid 70 Years Ago Today” posted on 18 April 2012 at https://mypoetrythatrhymes.wordpress.com/2012/04/.) Lieutenant Dick Cole was Doolittle’s copilot during that raid and the last of the raiders to die on 9 April 2019. This is his story.

The Ballad of Richard “Dick” Cole

Wind was blasting the open hatch.
China was dark below.
The B-25 was out of fuel.
The lieutenant had to go
Out…

View original post 672 more words

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Eye Witness Account (2)

Pilot 1st Lt. Ted Lawson; Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Dean Davenport; Navigator 2nd Lt. Charles McClure; Bombardier 2nd Lt. Robert Clever; Engineer/Gunner Sgt. David Thatcher

Pilot 1st Lt. Ted Lawson; Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Dean Davenport; Navigator 2nd Lt. Charles McClure; Bombardier 2nd Lt. Robert Clever; Engineer/Gunner Sgt. David Thatcher

 

Lt. Ted Lawson’s plane ran low on fuel approximately 6½ hours after the raid over Tokyo and the crew spotted the Chinese mainland.  It was raining hard and storming as the pilot’s story continues ____

 

“… I told the boys we were going down…  Davenport [co-pilot] was calling off the air speed, when for some reason, I’ll never understand, both engines coughed and lost their power.  In the next split second my hands punched forward and with one motion, I hit both throttles and both prop pitch controls.  I tried to pull back the stick to keep the nose up… we were about one-quarter mile off shore when we hit.

Doolittle's Raiders

“The two main landing wheels caught the top of a wave…  A curse of desperation was drowned out by the most terrifying noise I ever heard.  It was as if some great hand had reached down, seized the plane and crunched it in a closing fist.  I realized I was sitting in my pilot’s seat on the sand – underwater.  I was in about 10′-15′ of water and I remember thinking, ‘I’m dead.’  I thought of Ellen  [his wife], I wished I had left her some money.  I thought of money for my mother too in those disembodied seconds that seemed to have no beginning or end.

“I guess I had taken in more water, for suddenly I knew that the silence, the peace and the reverie were things to fight against.  I could not feel my arms, yet I knew I had reached down and unbuckled my seat strap.  I told myself my guts were loose.  I came up in the driving rain that beat down out of a blackened sky.  I couldn’t swim.  I was paralyzed.  I couldn’t think clearly, but I undid my chute.  The waves lifted me and dropped me.

“One wave washed me against a solid object.  I realized it was one of the wings, the engine had been ripped off leaving only a tangle of broken wires and cable. And with the recognition came a surge causing nausea and despair.  Only now did I connect my condition with the condition of the plane.  Another wave took me away from the wing and when it turned me around I saw behind me the two tail rudders of the ship sticking up out of the water like twin tombstones.”

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Lt. Lawson’s injuries required his leg to later be amputated; he passed away 19 January 1992.  Fifteen of Doolitle’s crews landed in Japanese-occupied China, but made it back safely with the aid of Chinese peasants.  One crew landed in the Soviet Union and they were immediately interned.  Eight airmen were captured by the Japanese and 4 were executed.  Col. Doolittle considered the mission a failure, but was awarded the Medal of Honor for the monumental psychological impact that was made.

Lt. Lawson’s own words were condensed from the article: “The Doolittle Raid, 1942, EyeWitness to History” which can be located at : eyewitness to history.com; photo of newspaper headline sent by Carl @I Know I Made You Smile.

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Military Humor – 

THE NEW FLIGHT SIMULATOR IS IN!!!!!

THE NEW FLIGHT SIMULATOR IS IN!!!!!

Murphy's Military Law 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – border

Robert Beckley – WA & AZ; US Navy, WWII, ETO, troop carrier

Ralph Fisher – Vancouver, CAN; RC Navy, Commander (Ret.), WWII

David Hoene – Waymansville, IN; US Air Force, VietnamBurrows_10

James Jewell – Flippin, AR; US Army, Vietnam

Janet Leighton – Omokoroa, NZ; 3GH NZ Army # 72063, WWII

Richard Ody – Schenectady, NY; US Army 18 yrs., combat engineer

James Queeny – Duxbury, MA; US Navy, WWII, ETO/PTO, PT-508

Whitney Thompson Jr. – Guilford, CT; US Navy, Korea

William Wilson – Pocatello, ID; US Air Force, Korea

Stephen Yanak – Aiken, SC; USMC & Army (Ret. 20 years), Vietnam (2 tours)

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Tribute and Doolittle Speech

Jack Manch - Doolittle Raider

Jack Manch – Doolittle Raider

Staunton, Virginia has been running a campaign to honor Jack Manch for being the hero that he was.  A low, black granite monolith in his honor to stand on a plot of ground donated by the city in Gypsy Hill Park.

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In the Staunton “News Leader,” Baldwin Jennings,[ raising the memorial fund at 332 Sharon Lane] remarked:  “Standing 6’7”. Manch was far too tall to fly, so General “Hap” Arnold got him to bend his knee… A true American hero who deserves recognition for what he did.” [during the war and later in life].  Manch volunteered and joined the Doolittle Raiders and was one of the men who bailed out over China and worked his way back to friendly lines.

Jack Manch

Jack Manch

He returned to Staunton, and “Shorty” remained an aviator.  In 1958 he became the base inspector at Nellis Air Force base.  On the day of his death, Manch rode his troubled aircraft, making certain that a residential neighborhood was not below him.  He later bailed out, but he was no longer high enough.  His body was located in the desert near his plane.

R.I.P. Airman

R.I.P. Airman

article from the News Leader by Charles Culbertson; pictures courtesy of George Vass.  Jack Manch’s story was brought to my attention by Anne T. Bell, her blog can be located HERE!

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Doolittle wiring a Japanese medal to a 550-lb bomb to be used in the raid, this ceremony        was aboard the USS Hornet.

Doolittle wiring a Japanese medal to a 550-lb bomb to be used in the raid, this ceremony was aboard the USS Hornet.

During his speech 19 May at his Medal of Honor ceremony, General James H. Doolittle related:

“Along the coastline we observed several squadrons of destroyers and some cruisers and battleships.  About 25 miles to sea, the rear gunners reported seeing columns of smoke rising thousands of feet in the air.  One of our bombardiers strewed incendiary bombs along a quarter of a mile of aircraft factory near Nagoya.  Another illuminated a tank farm…

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” However flying at such low altitudes made it difficult to observe the result following the impact of the bombs.  Even so, one of our party observed a ball game in progress.  The players and spectators did not start to run for cover until just as the field passed out of sight.  Pilots, bombardiers and all members of the crew performed their duties with great calmness and remarkable precision…

“We would like to have tarried and watched the later developments, but we were fortunate to receive a fairly detailed report from the excited Japanese radio broadcasts.  It took them [government officials] hours to calm them down to deception and accusation.”  Doolittle added that he gave detailed instructions that the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was not to be bombed.

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This snippet is courtesy of “The Veterans of Foreign Wars Pictorial History of the Second World War.”

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Military Humor – military-humor-funny-murphys-law-of-combat

It takes a looong time to make a G.I.

It takes a looong time to make a G.I.

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Farewell Salutes – 

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William Ball – Burke, VA; US Army, Lt.Col. (Ret.), West Point ’53, Vietnam, Bronze Star

Dennis Brenan – Anchorage, AK; US Army, Vietnamgodblessourtroops

Robert East – Christchurch, NZ; RNZ Navy # 2261, WWII

Earl Knight – Yuma, AZ; US Army, WWII

Michael Heath – Jackson, MI; US Army, Vietnam

John HUmes – Toronto, CAN; British Army, King’s Own Scottish Borderers Inf Reg.

Carl Olson – Boise, ID; US Army, WWII, ETO

Willis Phillips Jr – Belleville, IL; US Air Force, Tech Sgt., Korea & Vietnam

John Runnion – Brandon, FL; US Army, Lt. Col. (Ret. 27 yrs), Vietnam, Bronze Star

Lewis Warren – Conway, AR; USMC, WWII, Korea

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 WISHING EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!

2kjslxfk78h

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April 1942 (2)

USS Tenedos

USS Tenedos

1-6 April – off the coast of Ceylon ( now known as Sri Lanka), the Japanese sank the USS Tenedos in Columbo Harbour during an air attack.  As the Japanese Blitz raged on, enemy troops made amphibious landings on Bougainville in the Solomons and in the Admiralty Islands.  On the coast of India, the enemy attacked Vizagapatam and Cocanada.

5-9 April – as Bataan fell, the Royal Navy in the Indian Ocean, also was facing humiliation.  Five WWI battleships led by HMS Warspite and 3 carriers had been sent to protect the shipping to Burma.  As church bells rang out over the bay for Easter in Ceylon, Japanese aircraft bombed the installations at Columbo Harbour.  Six Zeros were shot down at the cost of 20 RAF planes

Thirty-one hits on HMS Dorsetshire lifted her out of the water and she sank.  HMS Cornwall received 8 hits, rolled over and sank as well.  About 1,100 men were rescued by destroyers, but the first objective of the enemy’s Operation C was a success, stage 2 would follow 3 days later.

HMS Hermes & HMAS Vampire

HMS Hermes & HMAS Vampire

The second phase began as a raid on Trincomalee, Ceylon.  Adm. Nagumo’s aircraft destroyed cranes, workshops, ammunition dumps and fuel tanks.  Eight Allied planes and 15 enemy aircraft were downed during aerial combat.  HMS Hernes and HMAS Vampire were discovered trying to escape.  The Hermes and the Vampire were both sunk, but remarkably, most of the crew-members were rescued by the hospital ship, Vita.

Across the Bay of Bengal, Admiral Ozawa’s cruisers sank 23 merchant ships.  Shipping between Burma and India came to a screeching halt and the Allies had lost 100,000 tons of matérial.

10 April – the US Pacific Fleet started being organized according to type: battleships, cruisers, destroyers, carriers, Service Force, Amphibious Force, Submarine Force and Patrol Wings.  /  On Burma, the “BurCorps” were continually pushed north by the enemy, but they destroyed the oil facilities as they retreated.

Britain/India negotiations

Britain/India negotiations

11 April – Britain denied India’s independence demands from President Nehru, but the Indian leader pledged continual support for the Allies despite their political differences.

18 April – the Doolittle Raid off the USS Hornet was launched 150 miles further from Japan than originally planned to avoid detection from the Japanese.

Taking off from the USS Hornet

Taking off from the USS Hornet

Once the shock of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor subsided, US military planners turned to retaliation.  Lt.Colonel James H. Doolittle presented his daring and unorthodox plan:  B-25 bombers, normally land-based, to be transported by carrier.  The top-secret training program began immediately and B-25 aircraft were modified for the operation.  The naval fleet used were nicknamed, Task Force Mike, for the operation and the bombers chalked messages on their cargo such as: “I don’t want to set the world on fire, just Tokyo.”

one of the bombers that crashed in China

one of the bombers that crashed in China

Further information and Eye Witness Story to follow……….

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Military Humor –  [ what the Sarge didn’t tell you ]

What the manual doesn't tell you is........

What the manual doesn’t tell you is……..

CPR exhibited by one who knows.....

CPR exhibited by one who knows…..

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Farewell Salutes – 

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Donald Barnes – Arlington, VA; US Army, WWII

Elmo Copeland – Greenville, FL; US Army, Vietnam

Dominick D’Anna – Tucson, AZ; US Air Force, Lt. Col. (Ret.), Vietnam, Cuban Missile Crisis, Bronze Star

Lewis Giers – Holly, MI; US Army, WWIIpatriotic1

John Joplin – Ft. Smith, AR; US Army, Korea, 3rd Infantry Division

Walter Malec – LaPorte, IN; US Army, WWII, Sgt. PTO

Philip Pelkey – Hampden, ME; US Navy, SeaBee

Ian Seaman – Henderson, NZ; RNZ Air Force # F77538

Malcolm Youker Jr. – Eugene, OR; US Army, WWII, Capt., Counter Intelligence Corps, PTO, Bronze Star

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