A Final Toast

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by NorwichDad, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Three of the four remaining Dolittle Raiders gathered for the last time

    Cole, Thatcher and Saylor — three of the four surviving crew members from the history-making bombing run — are at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle for a final public reunion of the Doolittle Raiders. They decided to meet at Eglin because it is where they trained for their top-secret mission in the winter of 1942, just weeks after the Japanese devastated the American fleet at Pearl Harbor.

    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20130418/WIRE/130419657
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    God bless 'em. Hope they enjoy the cognac.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Special Report on Fox News covered this tonight (Thurs. 4/18) in their kicker. I didn't check but I bet the video is online if anyone cares to look.
     
  4. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/1...ttle-bombing-raid-on-tokyo-hold-final-public/

    Quote from article: "At 97, retired Lt. Col. Richard Cole can still fly and land a vintage B-25 with a wide grin and a wave out the cockpit window to amazed onlookers."

    Even after decades aviators never forget how to fly their planes.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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  6. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    I just saw this the other day in Air & Space Smithsonian magazine. Seventy-one reunions is a lot; it's good to see that these heroes can still get out and about.

    Slightly off-topic, but speaking of old pilots, a 92 year-old just made a successful gear-up emergency landing.
     
  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I was blessed as a kid growing up in the military to get to know a LOT of WWI vets...as a cadet at USAFA I was one of a group tasked to be escorts one week for the final reunion of the "WWI Overseas Flyers Organization" (I think that was their name). They were all WWI pilots...I think the youngest was about 90 and the oldest as I recall was 104. They were amazing! This was 1981 and they all had memories as vivid as yesterday. I spent hours...it was a rare treat.

    Today...TPQ is correct...we're losing so many of these vets daily...if you have the opportunity to meet with them, do it! They have such history.

    Example...I ran into a gent a couple of years ago...I have his name written someplace...I saw the officers sticker on his car (we were at the post office). This old gent came out of the car...walking a little slow but VERY erect. Oh, did I mention that on that car, above the sticker, were two stars?

    Waiting in line we talked (I knew he had a story, so I asked him).

    SHORT version...he was a USNA graduate from I think 1936 or 1937...USMC his entire career. He was a "China Marine" and proud to say it! He was ALL OVER the pacific; name the battle, he was there. Said his "first heart" was Tarawa...his last was Chosin Reservoir. I think he had 4? I can't remember, I was too fascinated with his stories. Said after WWII he almost got out because "We CAN'T do this again!" Then Korea came...and after that he said "It can't happen again..." and then Vietnam...and he said: "I'm done."

    I bet I kept him there an hour...but he seemed to be pleased to tell me the stories.

    Oh...he was in his 90's.

    Seek them out...their history, their experiences...it's WAY better than a book!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83

    P.S. One of the gent's in my MOAA chapter is, as he says "...A White boy from an old southern family" but he wears this BIG gold medal around his neck. It was given to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He gets this insanely proud look when you ask what it is: "This is Congressional Medal my Budda Heads gave me!"

    He was one of the "white officers" initially put in charge of the US Army's "Nisei" soldiers; the Japanese-Americans that fought in Europe. He is still SO proud of them! He'll talk your ear off...but it's fascinating!!!
     
  8. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    +1 TPG
     
  9. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    I remember going to my hometown memorial day parades in the early seventies and it seemed almost every father and grandfather and even a few moms would march in the veteran's lines. There must have been over a thousand WW2 vets and hundreds of WWI vets marching. So sad to see them leaving us.
     

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