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Old 10-07-2017, 09:34 PM
tmark tmark is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Dagsboro, Delaware
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Default Met Lt. Col. Cole

Today, I attended the Wings and Wheels show at the Georgetown, DE airport. The show displayed many vintage aircraft including the B-25 Mitchell bomber, Panchita.

Sitting under a white canopy alongside Panchita was the last crew member out of 80 who took part in the Doolitle raid.

I approached the 102 year young man, Lt. Col. Cole, and informed him I enjoyed reading his book, Cole's War. He extended his right hand to me which I proudly shook, and thanked him for his WWII service. He had a smile on his thin wrinkled face. The Lt. Col. traveled from Texas to Delaware to be an honored guest at the W and W annual event.

I stepped back about ten yards to admire the Panchita but kept staring at the thin hunched figure in AWE as my mind played scenes from Van Johnson's Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo as well as other documentaries on the infamous raid.

This great great grandfather of a man sat next to Jimmy Doolitle on one of first B-25s to take off to bomb Japan from the aircraft carrier.

I regret not shelling out the $400 to take a ride in Panchita. Have any of you taken a ride in a Mitchell bomber? I wonder what I missed.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:06 PM
hcmaize hcmaize is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Rolla, MO
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Awesome meeting and story. I live in Doolittle MO, which was named for him: "In 1946, Lt. General Jimmy Doolittle spoke at the dedication ceremony in which the town was christened in his honor. Doolittle flew his own B-25 into the airport in Vichy MO, fulfilling a promise he'd made two years before."
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:42 AM
Ohio Don Ohio Don is offline
 
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Location: S Florida and SE Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmark View Post
.....
I regret not shelling out the $400 to take a ride in Panchita. Have any of you taken a ride in a Mitchell bomber? I wonder what I missed.
What you missed was the ride that you would never forget. I haven't gone up in the B-25 but have been low enough to Biscayne Bay to cause prop wash waves in a B-24. Should have had a fishing pole for some high speed trolling.
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:12 AM
ACampComLegacy ACampComLegacy is offline
 
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Location: Snow Hill NC
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Wow. Just ... WOW.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:52 AM
T38Carbine T38Carbine is offline
 
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Location: WV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmark View Post

I regret not shelling out the $400 to take a ride in Panchita. Have any of you taken a ride in a Mitchell bomber? I wonder what I missed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmark View Post
I regret not shelling out the $400 to take a ride in Panchita. Have any of you taken a ride in a Mitchell bomber? I wonder what I missed.
That must be the going rate as I paid the $400 last weekend to fly in Yankee Warrior!! My son asked me if it was worth it? I answered him, where am I going to ride in a B-25 again!! I was in the tail gunners position and they opened the two side windows as we sat on the runway for air. The ground crew showed me how to close the windows for flight. I left them open for the full effect!! Wind, noise, aviation fuel fumes!! I had a grin from ear to ear. At one point we reached our furthest point and rolled over to return and it happened to be over a rather large coal powered electric generation plant. It was a clear sunny day and I could see so clearly every aspect of the scene, the smoke stack, the coal pile, the river and barges mores at the bank. I could only imagine the feeling if we were actually lining up for an attack. And the anti-aircraft guns firing up to shoot us down!! It was a thrill to say the least!!
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:13 AM
USAF Sarge USAF Sarge is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Panama City, Florida
Posts: 268
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I've got a bunch of USAF pictures on CD of the then surviving Doolittle Raiders taken at Duke Field Florida during one of their reunions along with 4 or 5 B-25s. Meeting them was a humbling experience to say the least!

Need to find the CD and post the pictures, being USAF pictures they are public domain.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:26 AM
Clifjr Clifjr is offline
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Maryland
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I met him a couple years ago up in Pennsylvania during WWII weekend.http://www.maam.org/maamwwii.html Always a great event! It was a pleasure meeting him and if I remember correctly he was one of two living survivors at that time.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:17 PM
Ohio Don Ohio Don is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: S Florida and SE Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T38Carbine View Post
That must be the going rate as I paid the $400 last weekend to fly in Yankee Warrior!! My son asked me if it was worth it? I answered him, where am I going to ride in a B-25 again!! I was in the tail gunners position and they opened the two side windows as we sat on the runway for air. The ground crew showed me how to close the windows for flight. I left them open for the full effect!! Wind, noise, aviation fuel fumes!! I had a grin from ear to ear. At one point we reached our furthest point and rolled over to return and it happened to be over a rather large coal powered electric generation plant. It was a clear sunny day and I could see so clearly every aspect of the scene, the smoke stack, the coal pile, the river and barges mores at the bank. I could only imagine the feeling if we were actually lining up for an attack. And the anti-aircraft guns firing up to shoot us down!! It was a thrill to say the least!!
Yankee Warrior has direct ties to here. On May 26th, 1944 she returned back from MTO and landed at Homestead AFB.
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