Eglin AFB, (April 21, 2022)- On April 17, The CAF’s Floribama Wing and members of Dick Cole’s family attended a day of fun and fellowship hosted by retired General, and current CAF Colonel, Clay McCutchan at his home and private airstrip. This marked the start of a tremendous event honoring the legendary Doolittle Raiders and a remarkable farewell ceremony for Lt. Col. Dick Cole.
On April 18, the CAF Floribama Wing participated in “30 Seconds over the Emerald Coast Aerial Review.” The event celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid over Tokyo, and the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force. The final goblet ceremony for Lt. Col. Dick Cole, who passed away on April 9, 2019, was held in conjunction with this event. Click here to learn about the Doolittle Raiders Goblet Ceremony.
The Doolittle Raid, which occurred on April 18, 1942, was a mission planned in response to the Empire of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The mission was led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, required the crews of 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers to launch an unprecedented raid off the deck of the USS Hornet. The crews trained for their famous mission on Florida’s Panhandle Coast near Eglin Field, now Eglin AFB, and at Eglin auxiliary field #1. The final goblet ceremony was held at Northwest Florida State College. The event was presided over by the secretary of the Air Force, Mr. Frank Kendall and 4-star General Charles Q. Brown Jr., Chief of Staff U.S. Air Force.
The beach flyover tribute began with the appearance of the B- 25 Lady Luck, owned by an LLC in Blaine, MN. This was followed by a formation of T-6s, T-34s, and multiple flights of the liaison aircraft. Crowds watched on as at least one of almost every aircraft in the current U.S.A.F. inventory flew by. Cheers erupted as vintage warbirds, B-1 Lancer, B-52 Stratofortresses, and active-duty aircraft including the new F-15EXs, whizzed by.
Floribama Wing members meticulously planned the aerial demonstration of flights incorporating vintage warbirds, civilian aircraft, and current Air Force aircraft. CAF members also performed several other logistical functions, even doing some of the announcing for a few of the aircraft. Their efforts made this a seamless and spectacular show for all the viewers. The video below captures this incredible tribute and fly over.
To learn more about the Floribama Wing, go to https://www.caffloribamawing.org/.
Story credit: Commemorative Air Force https://commemorativeairforce.org/news/30-seconds-over-the-emerald-coast