Tag Archives: Veteran

Doolittle Raid

Honoring a WWII Hero

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

Doolittle_RaiderNearly 75 years after the historic Doolittle Raider mission as part of WWII, SkyWest was honored to fly the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole (age – 101), to attend the funeral service of a fellow Doolittle Raider. With a World War II hero on their flight, the SkyWest crew (CA Mike Spencer, FO Jeff Blaylock and FA Hayley Neves) ensured Lt. Col. Cole received the hero’s welcome he deserved.

“The entire crew went above and beyond to make this a special day for Lt. Col. Cole,” said Tracy Gallo – VP of Flight Ops. “That he was going to bury the last remaining member of his squad made the service even more meaningful.”

Left to Right, Front Row: Lt. Col. D.H. Doolittle; Lt. R.E. Cole. Back row: Lt. H.A. Potter; SSgt. F.A. Braemer; SSgt. P.J. Leonard

Lt. Col. Cole was part of one of  the most famous missions in U.S. military history when, on April 18, 1942,  he and 79 other brave members of the U.S. Air Force set out aboard 16 B-25B Mitchell medium bombers as part of  the United States’ response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Their mission, to bomb Japanese forces in Tokyo, was highly dangerous as their bombers were unable to land on the aircraft carrier they took off from.

Led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, 15 of the bombers landed in China after carrying out there mission, where eight crewmembers were captured by Japanese soldiers. The other bomber landed in the Soviet Union, where the crew was interned for more than a year before being returned to the U.S. In total, the Doolittle Raiders lost 11 men on their mission. The remaining 69 heroes returned home to the U.S. With the passing of his friend, Lt. Col. Cole is the last living Doolittle Raider.

Doolittle RaidUpon learning that he would captain the flight carrying this special passenger, Captain Spencer made a quick trip to the local grocery store to pick up nine dozen donuts. The crew then met Lt. Col. Cole in the boarding area and escorted him to the aircraft and arranged for him to sit in row one. After boarding was complete, the donuts were passed out to passengers as Captain Spencer read the story of the Doolittle Raiders over the intercom. The cabin was quick to give Lt. Col. Cole a huge round of applause.

Lt. Col. Cole continued to receive the VIP treatment throughout the duration of his flight to MSO, where he was again escorted by the crew. As we celebrate the birth of the United States this Independence Day weekend, a special thanks to Lt. Col. Cole and all those who have served and continue to preserve our freedoms. At SkyWest, we proudly support more than 1,000 active or retired military members across our operation.

Our crew Mike, Jeff and Hayley are another great example of SkyWest’s unique culture where 11,600+ employees are continually going out of their way to make a difference for their passengers. To learn more about working at SkyWest, visit www.skywest.com/careers .

Read more stories about SkyWest People Making a Difference!

Veterans Day 2014

Standing Quietly: A Salute to Veterans

Jodi Drake
Corporate Communications Specialist

SkyWest is home to more than 950 veterans who have or are currently serving in the United States military, and thousands of other employees have family members who proudly represent the U.S. through their military service. So it should be no surprise that these 10,000+ aviation professionals are committed to showing their support for veterans.

In fact, Jonathan Walker, a Salt Lake City-based pilot, decided last Veterans Day that he was going to do something a little different to support his fellow veterans.

Veterans Day 2014

Veterans Day 2014

“Veterans stand all around us, and I believe it is everyone’s patriotic duty to show them how appreciated they are,” Jonathan said.

And so, adorned in his uniform and equipped with the stars and stripes, Jonathan took a quiet stand on a bridge overlooking I-15 (also called the Veterans Memorial Highway) in Lehi, Utah. Passing motorists were immediately touched by his anonymous display of patriotism and respect. Many called local news stations or posted his picture on social media sites to remind others of the sacrifice so many men and women have made. His story quickly gained national attention and his identity was eventually revealed.

Jonathan has now taken that attention and is using it to expand his efforts to stand quietly on more than just Veterans Day. This past Memorial Day, in fact, Jonathan, along with several additional SkyWest employees and others, will be positioned on various I-15 overpasses as a tribute to those who have and are serving in the armed forces.

Jonathan has also been working to establish similar events in other locations around the country. He has posted additional information about the initiative on standingquietly.com.

SkyWest is proud of team members like Jonathan and so many others around the country who make an incredible impact on those they live and work with.