1111 NE Interstate 410 Loop
San Antonio, TX 78209
US ARMY AIR CORPS/AIR FORCE RETIRED VETERAN – WWII, KOREA, VIETNAM
The family of Col Richard E. “Dick” Cole, a US Army Air Corps/Air Force (Ret.) Veteran, requests the presence and participation of the San Antonio Patriot Guard at the services, LEO supported procession, and graveside rendering of military honors of their loved one. We are honored to accept this invitation.
Colonel Richard E. “Dick” Cole was the last surviving member of 80 men known as the famed Doolittle Tokyo Raiders. Four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941, famed aviator Jimmy Doolittle met with Gen Hap Arnold (Chief of Staff of the Army), then volunteered, and put out the request for volunteers for a secret mission. B-25 crews (all volunteers) trained for their mission over Japan. This was the first joint military mission in US history. On April 18, 1942, 16 B-25s launched off the deck of the Naval carrier “Hornet”, incurring torrential rain and wind enroute- eating up precious fuel aboard the aircraft as they made their way to Japan. After hitting their targets and completing the mission, Cole and crew flew to, and after his plane ran out of fuel, bailed out over Japanese-occupied China at night during a rainstorm. On his way down, his parachute got caught up in a tree, so that’s where he slept until daylight. The next day, they were rescued and taken to safety by the Chinese. Although not regarded as a crippling effect on Japan, it greatly lifted the morale of the US and Doolittle was promoted to Brigadier General. Cole remained in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater and volunteered for his next secret mission to fly a resupply route commonly known as the “Hump”, to supply the war needs of China and ensure that it could remain in the war to fight the Japanese. This supply mission resulted in the loss of 600 aircraft and their crews, but in the end, they were successful and China was able to remain as a combatant in the war against Japan. Cole survived to return home; but just three months later, he volunteered to return to the CBI as a member of the First “Air Commandos” under the leadership of Cols. Phil Cochran and Johnny Alison. “Project Nine”, as this secret mission was called, had as its objective- the first-ever aerial invasion of a country. Cole and the other pilots towed gliders carrying British troops into clearings in the jungles of Burma 200 miles behind enemy lines, unarmed and at night. The Air Commandos remain a vital part of Special Operations in today’s military.
For his exploits in World War II, Col Dick Cole received three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Air Medal, and the Chinese Medal with Valor, among many others over a span of a decorated 27-year service to our country. In the years since, the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders have toured the world, educating thousands on the history and significance of the Raid, and have received countless honors, to include the most notable, Congressional Gold Medal. When asked about what he thought of all the fame and notoriety he received, his modest attitude answered, “We were just doing our job!” More than sixteen million American men and women served in World War II, but Colonel Cole was the only one to have served in three of the most top-secret projects of the American military. GOD SPEED COLONEL COLE!
Col Cole was preceded in death by his loving wife Martha of 60 years, daughter Christina, son Andrew and son Samuel. He is survived by his daughter Cindy Chal (Jim) and son Richard Cole (Karen), 5 grandkids and 5 great-grandkids.
WEATHER: Hi 95 / Lo 77, 0% Chance of Rain, 82% Humidity, Wind: 3 mph SSE
REQUESTOR: Cindy Chal, Daughter
STAGING: 8:00 am, Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Crown Plaza Airport Hotel
1111 NE Loop 410
San Antonio. Texas 78209
BRIEFING: 8:15 am
KSU: 9:00 am (Semper Gumby)
THIS IS A MOTORCYCLE ESCORT ONLY. NO CAGES PLEASE
FLAG LINE: 9:30 am
MEMORIAL SERVICE: 10:00 am
Fort Sam Golf Course Ballroom
1050 Harry Wurzbach Road
San Antonio, Texas 78209
KSU: 10:50 am (Semper Gumby)
INTERMENT: 11:30 am – General Assembly Area in the back of Cemetery (Call to Verify)
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
1520 Harry Wurzbach Road
San Antonio, Texas 78209
RC: Bob “Pizza Man” Johnson
FC: Alice “Cake Lady” Wagener
1. Iron horses if you can, cages are always welcome and appreciated and unless under special circumstances not allowed in processions. You do not have to have a motorcycle to participate in honoring our veterans.
2. Safety First: Please remember to properly hydrate (including the night before) before any outdoor activity and to dress appropriately. Do not hesitate to take a break at any time if you feel you need to get in the shade or get indoors and always ask for help at any time. Also please do not forget your sun screen.
3. Please remember that our mission is to stand tall and silent, and with honor and. NO TALKING, SMOKING, CHEWING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS, OR CELL PHONE USE IN THE FLAG LINE!
4. Cemeteries are hallowed ground. Please keep radios off and engine noise to a minimum. Observe the 15 MPH speed limit. Show our respect to ALL who are in attendance.
5. If riding/driving a motorcycle on Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, which is located within a Military Installation, you will need to wear closed toe shoes, long sleeve shirt, gloves, DOT approved helmet, eye protection, long pants, and boots/shoes that cover the ankle.
Before volunteering and/or attending any San Antonio Patriot Guard Riders missions we encourage you to review all safety information below. Included are some potential safety concerns to be aware of, however this does not include the full scope of all potential hazards. Anyone attending any San Antonio Patriot Guard Riders mission understands that they do so at their own risk. Neither the Patriot Guard Riders Organization nor its representatives are liable for any damages incurred on any PGR mission or event.
EVERY RIDER IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for their own safety at all times while riding in a funeral procession.
At NO TIME are any riders authorized to block any intersection or otherwise block or impede traffic laws in any way. Only Law Enforcement officials are authorized to block and/or impeded the lawful flow of traffic.
If you choose to fly a Flag on your bike you are SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for ensuring it is secured and not a danger to any other rider or traffic.
Bob “Pizza Man” Johnson
Deputy State Captain
San Antonio Patriot Guard
Dignity, Honor, Respect