Launching the 1st Air Commandos: An Interview with 103-Year-Old Dick Cole

Retired Lt. Col. Dick Cole discussed the 1st Commando Group in an interview with Air Force Magazine. Staff video still by Mike Tsukamoto.

Retired Lt. Col. Dick Cole, now 103, best known as the last surviving member of the famous Doolittle Raiders, later flew “the hump”—the Himalaya Mountains—supplying US troops in China during World War II.

In a rare interview about the 1st Air Commando Group, Cole told Air Force Magazine about the first-ever aerial invasion, flying troops and supplies into Burma from March 1944 to November 1945, and the unique precursor to today’s Air Force special operators. The Air Commandos included fighters, bombers, light planes, transports, and gliders, creating an “Aluminum Highway” and bypassing Japanese troops.

Watch the video in full-screen here.