Tag Archives: richard cole

One Doolittle Raider Remains

Retired SSgt David Thatcher died yesterday in Montana. In 1942, Thatcher was a gunner on “The Ruptured Duck” — one of 16 B-25s that conducted what became known as the Doolittle Raid.

After his military career, Thatcher worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years as a clerk and later a letter carrier. He retired in 1980. He stayed in contact with the surviving members of the Doolittle Raiders and attended nearly every reunion the group held through the Final Toast in November 2013.

Retired LtCol Richard “Dick” Cole, Doolittle’s co-pilot, is the last Read more

Doolittle Raiders Final Toast Scheduled for November

After their last reunion in April, the remaining four Doolittle Raiders will privately gather for their final toast November 9th at the National Museum of the Air Force.

Today, just four of the men survive: Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, co-pilot of crew No. 1; Lt. Col. Robert L. Hite, co-pilot of crew No. 16; Lt. Col. Edward J. Saylor, engineer-gunner of crew No. 15; and Staff Sgt. David J. Thatcher, engineer-gunner of crew No. 7…

Each year, the remaining Raiders have toasted their comrades and turned over the goblets of those who passed away the prior year.  The original plan had been for the final two to open a celebratory bottle of cognac in a last gathering.  Due to age and health concerns, they decided to make this their final year.