EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — At 97, retired Lt. Col. Richard Cole can still fly and land a vintage B-25 with a wide grin and a wave out the cockpit window to amazed onlookers.
David Thatcher, 91, charms admiring World War II history buffs with detailed accounts of his part in the 1942 Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, in which he earned a Silver Star.
Retired Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, 93, still gets loud laughs from crowds for his one liners about the historic bombing raid 71 years ago Thursday that helped to boost a wounded nation’s morale in the aftermath of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.
Cole, Thatcher and Saylor — three of the four surviving crew members from the history-making bombing run — are at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle for a final public reunion of the Doolittle Raiders. They decided to meet at Eglin because it is where they trained for their top-secret mission in the winter of 1942, just weeks after the Japanese devastated the American fleet at Pearl Harbor....