Quantcast

War hero returns to Barksdale Air Force Base - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

War hero returns to Barksdale Air Force Base

Posted: Updated:
BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTBS) -

When the U.S. first struck back against Japan in World War II, Richard Cole was on board. The Texas man is one of the last surviving Doolittle Raiders who bombed Tokyo and other Japanese islands.

Cole and that daring mission will be honored at Tuesday's Advocare V-100 Bowl in Shreveport.

On Monday, he got a tour of his old base -- Barksdale -- including a look inside the bomb bay of a massive B-52. And he told a gathering of pilots and maintenance crew about his historic mission in the old B-25.

"I don't think about it unless someone happens to mention it and it seems like it was yesterday," the 98 year old veteran says.

The date was April 18,1942. Cole was the co-pilot of Col. Jimmy Doolittle, leading a wave of 16 B-25's off the deck of the USS Hornet. The medium bombers weren't designed to take off from a carrier deck. But they did it anyway. And that was just the start.

"We had to manhandle the airplane for 13 hours at about 200 feet," Cole recalls.

He says the Raiders sent a message to the Japanese that they could be hit, too. But how would the Raiders get back? They couldn't land back on the carrier. And they were running out of fuel. All the planes ditched over enemy-held territory in China. Cole and the Raiders had to bail out.

"It was the scariest time for me looking down at the black hole of the floor in an airplane and wondering what's going to happen when you go through that door," Cole says.

Cole, along with Doolittle and most of the 80 Raiders found safety with Chinese allies. The Japanese pulled their air forces back to the homeland. And the tide of World War II turned.

Airmen took turns taking pictures and getting signed memorabilia from Cole during his visit to the base.

Cole will represent the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders when they're given the Omar Bradley "Spirit of Independence" award at Tuesday's bowl game. There'll also be a flyover of a B-25 like the ones Cole and the Raiders flew.

  • ArkLaTex SlideshowsMore>>

  • ArkLaTex Adoptable Pets

    ArkLaTex Adoptable Pets

    Saturday, April 19 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:50:42 GMT
    There are lots of animals in the ArkLaTex who are looking for that perfect home.
    There are lots of animals in the ArkLaTex who are looking for that perfect home.
  • Easter Bunnies

    Easter Bunnies

    Saturday, April 19 2014 6:26 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:26:06 GMT
    Thank you to all of our viewers who sent us pictures of your little Easter bunnies.
    Thank you to all of our viewers who sent us pictures of your little Easter bunnies.
  • Celebrate Education 2014

    Celebrate Education 2014

    Thursday, April 17 2014 3:30 PM EDT2014-04-17 19:30:00 GMT
    Community Projects Director Jan Elkins with donors for the KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home.
    CELEBRATE EDUCATION, and it begins next week at the Shreveport Convention Center.
  • Assignment EducationMore>>

  • Celebrate Education 2014

    Celebrate Education 2014

    Thursday, April 17 2014 3:30 PM EDT2014-04-17 19:30:00 GMT
    Community Projects Director Jan Elkins with donors for the KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home.
    CELEBRATE EDUCATION, and it begins next week at the Shreveport Convention Center.
  • Louisiana Tech to showcase innovation, entrepreneurship at annual ‘I-20 Top 20’

    Louisiana Tech to showcase innovation, entrepreneurship at annual ‘I-20 Top 20’

    Thursday, April 17 2014 2:31 PM EDT2014-04-17 18:31:46 GMT
    University Hall at LA TechUniversity Hall at LA Tech
    Business and community leaders, technology entrepreneurs, and leaders in innovation throughout north Louisiana will gather at Louisiana Tech University, April 29 for the second annual I-20 Top 20 Regional
    Business and community leaders, technology entrepreneurs, and leaders in innovation throughout north Louisiana will gather at Louisiana Tech University, April 29 for the second annual I-20 Top 20 Regional Showcase.
  • Education chief gets favorable job review

    Education chief gets favorable job review

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 8:41 AM EDT2014-04-16 12:41:51 GMT
    John White, LA Superintendent of EducationJohn White, LA Superintendent of Education
    State Superintendent of Education John White has received a favorable job evaluation. The review was done by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Board President Chas Roemer announced
    State Superintendent of Education John White has received a favorable job evaluation.
  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File