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The last Doolittle Raider has died at 103
The last airmen who took part in the daring Doolittle Raid during World War II has died.
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Dick Cole, who served as Army Lt. Col. James Doolittle's co-pilot during the raid, passed away on Tuesday at 103 years old. His death was first reported by Air Force Magazine's John Tirpak.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein paid tribute to Cole on Tuesday at the 35th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Goldfein told audience members he had just visited Cole on Monday night in Texas.
"I told him our Air Force was thinking about him and his family because we're so proud to carry the torch that he and his fellow Raiders handed us," Goldfein said. "He couldn't speak, but he grasped my hand firmly and he nodded his approval."
"Sadly, just before taking the stage, I took a call from his son Rich, who shared that there's another hole in our formation, and our last surviving Doolittle Raider has slipped the surly bonds of earth and he is now reunited with his fellow Raiders," Goldfein continued. "What a reunion they must be having."
Ret. Lt. Col. Dick Cole, Doolittle Raider co-pilot crew 1, signals the start of engine 2 on a B-25 named "Special Delivery" on April 20, 2013 (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Carlin Leslie)
Cole was one of the few men of whom it can be honestly said changed history. The attack by 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers on April 18, 1942 set into motion a series of events that culminated in the Battle of Midway less than two months later, which decided the Pacific war in the United States' favor.
The raid was as dangerous as it was bold. The plan called for the bombers to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet — a feat that had never been done before.
With no chance of returning to the carrier, the planes were supposed to land in China, but the crews' chances of making it to safety dropped precipitously when the Hornet was spotted by a Japanese ship and Doolittle launched the bombers 200 miles further from Japan than planned.
Both Cole and Doolittle were in the lead bomber, so they had the least amount of the deck to get airborne. Yet all 16 bombers took off successfully and struck their targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Nagoya, and Kobe.
Seventy-five years later, Goldfein asked Cole two years ago what it felt like trying to make it to the Chinese coastline while low on fuel without any navigational references.
"He offered: 'Well, general, it sure would have been nice to have had GPS back then,'" Goldfein recounted on Tuesday. "You know, we're going to miss Col. Cole and we offer our eternal thanks and our condolences to his family. The legacy of the Doolittle Raiders will live forever in the hearts and minds of airmen long after we've all departed."
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RACHEL, Nev. (Reuters) - UFO enthusiasts began descending on rural Nevada on Thursday near the secret U.S. military installation known as Area 51, long rumored to house government secrets about alien life, with local authorities hoping the visitors were coming in peace.
Some residents of Rachel, a remote desert town of 50 people a short distance from the military base, worried their community might be overwhelmed by unruly crowds turning out in response to a recent, viral social-media invitation to "storm" Area 51. The town, about 150 miles (240 km) north of Las Vegas, lacks a grocery store or even a gasoline station.
Dozens of visitors began arriving outside Rachel's only business - an extraterrestrial-themed motel and restaurant called the Little A'Le'Inn - parking themselves in cars, tents and campers. A fire truck was stationed nearby.
Alien enthusiasts descend on the Nevada desert to 'storm' Area 51
Attendees arrive at the Little A'Le'Inn as an influx of tourists responding to a call to 'storm' Area 51, a secretive U.S. military base believed by UFO enthusiasts to hold government secrets about extra-terrestrials, is expected Rachel, Nevada, U.S. September 19, 2019
One couple, Nicholas Bohen and Cayla McVey, both sporting UFO tattoos, traveled to Rachel from the Los Angeles suburb of Fullerton with enough food to last for a week of car-camping.
"It's evolved into a peaceful gathering, a sharing of life stories," McVey told Reuters, sizing up the crowd. "I think you are going to get a group of people that are prepared, respectful and they know what they getting themselves into."
Tom Delonge has been speculating about aliens for years. According to Vulture, he quit Blink 182, the band he founded, years ago to "expose the truth about aliens," and he founded To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences "to advance society's understanding of scientific phenomena and its technological implications" — or, in simpler terms, to research UFOs and extraterrestrial life.
A tentative plan to build 20 miles of extra border wall in Arizona, on top of the already approved 100-plus miles, was put on hold Monday by the Pentagon.
Federal officials hoped to build the extra 20 miles of wall in the Border Patrol's Tucson and Yuma sectors. The Army Corps of Engineers said late last month that funds would come from other wall contracts that might cost less than expected. But those savings did not materialize, according to documents filed Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C.