The 100–year-old Cole explained that he volunteered for the operation when he saw a sign stating “Wanted for Dangerous Mission.” He felt that the country was in trouble and it was his duty to volunteer. The men were isolated and trained in secret at Elgin Field, Fl. They were being readied to fly over enemy territory, which was a big hazard in itself and, since there was no place to land and refuel, considered to be a near suicidal assignment. Doolittle and Cole dropped their incendiaries over their targets, flew towards what they hoped was China, then ran out of fuel and bailed out. All of Doolittle’s personal crew landed and got safely out of China, which he attributes to “good luck.” Cole has since been fittingly decorated for his exceptional military career. His medals include the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Chinese Army, Navy, Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.
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