Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Richard Cole was one of 80 men led by then Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, assembled to execute a surprise attack over the islands of Japan in 1942. It would be the first time any of them would take off from a carrier. Armed with enough fuel for a one-way trip to Japan and a landing in China, they planned to launch off the USS Hornet about 450 miles from Japan. The U.S. ships were spotted early and the Doolittle Raiders were forced to depart about 650 miles from their intended target. The B-25s arrived from varying directions, confusing the Japanese. The bombers hit their targets and escaped Japan of their own accord. The mission was a success and it turned up the spirits of Americans during World War II.
Cole remains active on his farm in Comfort, Texas