Couple’s efforts help to get heroic WW II pilots honored in D.C.
Salem resident Brian Anderson, right, and retired Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, one of four surviving Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, shared a moment at the Tomb of the Unknowns during a visit to Washington last week. (COURTESY)
Brian Anderson said the highlight of his trip was definitely the moment when President Barack Obama offered his chair to Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, one of the four surviving Raiders, before signing the bill into law.
Cole, who will turn 99 this fall, was the co-pilot of Crew No. 1 and was the only surviving Raider able to make last week’s trip, traveling from his current home in Comfort, Texas.
If all goes as planned, the custom-designed medals will be minted and ready to present to the four elderly veterans sometime in November.
During his time there, he not only got to observe parts of the legislative process few Americans get to actually see, but he was also able to cheer on Cole, who was selected to lead the National Memorial Day Parade as the Grand Marshal.
The 80 members of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders conducted a precarious raid in 1942, where 16 B-25 bombers, as each one carried five servicemen, took flight from the deck of the USS Hornet with the intent of dropping bombs over Japan before safely landing in a free section of China.
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte was among several hundred legislators to back the bill and she cosponsored the Senate version.
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