The National Memorial Day Parade starts at 2 p.m. Monday in Washington, DC. If you’re able to attend, you should go (if not this year, in the future.) It will air live on Reelz, The Pentagon Channel and News Channel 8 (in DC.) The parade will stream live on Military.com and DVIDS.
LTC Richard Cole will be the Grand Marshal of the Parade. Dick Cole was born in 1915 in Dayton, Ohio. The last reunion of the Doolittle Raiders was in April 2013. The only surviving members besides Cole are LTC Robert L. Hite,
LTC Edward Joseph Saylor, and SSG David J. Thatcher.
Graduated from Steele high School, Dayton, Ohio and completed two years college at Ohio University. Enlisted November 22, 1940. Completed pilot training and commissioned as Second Lieutenant, July, 1941. Remained in China-Burma-India after Tokyo Raid until June 1943, and served again in the China-Burma-India Theater from October, 1943 until June, 1944. Relieved from active duty in January, 1947 but returned to active duty in August 1947. Was Operations Advisor to Venezuelan Air Force from 1959 to 1962. Peacetime service in Ohio, North Carolina, and California. Rated as command pilot. Decorations include Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Chinese Army, Navy, Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.
I lived in Columbia, South Carolina during the 60th reunion in 2002 and got to attend some events associated with that. I also was fortune to meet and talk with Doolittle Raiders LTC Horace Ellis Crouch and MAJ Nolan Anderson Herndon at a military appreciation night at a minor league baseball game in 2001. Initial preparations for the raid started at Lexington Army Airbase (current location of the Columbia Airport) before the training moved to Eglin.
Other participants in the parade include Gary Sinise, Kristian Bush of Sugarland, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, J.R. Martinez, Rita Cosby, Kirsten Haglund, Eoin Macken, and Jill Flint.