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  • Memorial for final WWII Doolittle Raider to be held April 18

    A memorial service to celebrate the life of retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” E. Cole will be held at JBSA-Randolph, Texas, Thursday, April 18, 2019, beginning at 3 p.m. in Hangar 41. Cole, who was the final surviving member of the famed Doolittle Tokyo Raiders of World War II, passed away in San Antonio April 9 at the age of 103.
  • Lt Col Dick Cole, last surviving Doolittle Raider, passes away at age 103

    A legendary chapter in Air Force history has come to a close. Retired Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” E. Cole, the last survivor of the “Doolittle Raid,” died April 9, in San Antonio. “Our last remaining Doolittle Raider has slipped the surly bonds of Earth, and has reunited with his fellow Raiders," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein On April 18, 1942, the U.S. Army Air Forces and the Doolittle Raiders attacked Tokyo in retaliation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which boosted American morale in the early months of World War II. “We will miss Lt. Col. Cole, and offer our eternal thanks and condolences to his family,” Goldfein said.
  • Operation Argument (‘Big Week’): The beginning of the end of the German Luftwaffe

    By late January 1944, Eighth Air Force had received sufficient numbers of P-51D Mustangs and P-47D Thunderbolts, both fitted with external fuel tanks, to resume the bombing of Germany. These fighters now had the range to escort the bombers all the way to their targets in Germany and back to home bases. Operation Argument was scheduled for late February, with the goal of establishing air supremacy over Western Europe prior to the invasion of France scheduled for late May or early June. During the week of Feb. 20-25, 1944, what became known as “Big Week” in Air Force history, Eighth Air Force and the Royal Air Force from England and Fifteenth Air Force from southern Italy conducted strategic bombing raids against German aircraft factories and other industrial targets. These raids, Operation Argument, marked the restart of the strategic bombing of Germany, halted in October 1943, and the beginning of the end of the German air force (Luftwaffe).
  • Gen. LeMay's lead operational bombing planner dies at 101, family makes unique donation

    When the family of a man who lived to see 101 and served his country for 30 years in the Army, Army Air Corps and Air Force through World War II, asks to donate something, the answer is easy. Col. John Watters Sr., from Selma, Alabama, graduated from Auburn University in 1940 and immediately commissioned into the Army horse-drawn artillery. A few years later, he found himself in the Army Air Corps as a B-17 bombardier and navigator, completing more than 25 combat bombing missions when life expectancy was ten missions. It wasn’t long until the Air Force was established and he made another switch. His final assignment was as Gen. Curtis LeMay's, commander of Strategic Air Command, lead operational bombing planner.
  • Current Scout Honors Beale’s Past

    There will come a day when there aren’t any World War II Veterans still living among us. When all of these mighty Americans have left us, only memories, history, and memorial sites will remain. Approximately 16 million Americans served in the Armed Forces during World War II. Currently, 2.4 million youths and one million volunteers are participating in the Boy Scouts of America. It is safe to say, there are a fair amount of parallels between these organizations.
  • Sweet lessons: 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift

    The end of World War II brought on a new, different conflict - a cold war. An immediate battleground became the divided country of Germany. The Allies divided the defeated Germany with the French, British and Americans taking the western half of the nation spreading the ideals of democracy, and the Communist Russians taking the eastern half of Germany, but was still looking for more. In June 1948, Russian forces blockaded the Allied-controlled areas of Berlin, shutting off food, coal and medicine to two million Germany citizens.
  • 74 years later, spirit of D-Day lives on

    “Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force: you are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”
  • Heritage Flight: making a connection

    DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz., -- The U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course demonstrates the evolution of the USAF's airpower by flying today’s fighter aircraft in formation with World War II, Korean and Vietnam War - era aircraft. The training includes a performance of formations by current USAF fighters such as F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-35 Lightning II, F-22 Raptor and A-10 Thunderbolt II along with historical warbirds like the P-51 Mustang, P-38 Lightning, P-40 Warhawk and F-86 Sabre.
  • Heritage Flight Training Course dazzles DM community

    Davis-Monthan Air Force base hosts the annual Heritage Flight Training course prior to the air show season as a familiarization opportunity for active duty pilots to fly in formation with WWII and Korean-era planes. Each morning prior to the day’s training sorties, the ramp is open to service members, veterans, and their families.
  • Marking 75 Years of 12 Air Force: Post World War II thru the Cold War Years

    This the second part of a three piece series article on the history of 12th Air Force in celebration of its 75th Anniversary.
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