Pennsylvania’s oldest residing Marine Dorothy Cole has died on the age of 107 – CBS Pittsburgh

(CNN) – Dorothy “Dot” Cole was the oldest living U.S. Marine veteran when she died on Jan. 7. She was 107 years old.

Cole, who was born in 1913 and raised in Warren, Pennsylvania, suffered a heart attack in the house they shared in North Carolina, her daughter Beth Kluttz told CNN on Saturday by phone

Cole decided to take a stance in support of their country after Japanese forces launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii on December 7, 1941.

“There were women who volunteered for the Red Cross and knitted while they were in church, so I thought I had to do something,” Cole told the Marine Corps Times in a September interview. “At the time, I didn’t think I was doing anything great. I knew I was helping our country. “

She was 28 years old in 1943 when her daughter said she was among the first women to join the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve.

Cole wanted to be like Amelia Earhart, said Kluttz, and had taken flying lessons in the hope of becoming a pilot.

“She thought she was impressing the military by taking flying lessons. She had about 200 hours of flight time and was flying a Piper Cub and she thought that would impress the military and the Marine Corps, ”said Kluttz. “But when she got there, she was just put behind the desk.”

She reached the rank of sergeant before leaving the marines. The Marine Corps paid tribute to Cole in a tweet that ended: “Semper Fi, Marine”.

Good winds and following seas

We’ll say goodbye to Sgt. Dorothy (Schmidt) Cole, who passed away last week as the oldest living Marine.

Last year “Dotty” shared her story when she celebrated her 107th birthday. Semper Fi, marine.

– US Marines (@USMC) January 12, 2021

The US Naval Institute said in a tweet that Cole was the oldest marine alive and “like most women of that time” had been given office work so men could fight in combat. According to the Women Marines Association, women became an integral part of the Marine Corps in 1948.

Dorothy “Dot” Cole, the oldest living Marine, died Thursday at the age of 107. She joined the USMC shortly after Pearl Habor in the hope of becoming a pilot, but like most women during that time, was hired to do office work so that men could be freed for combat. #RIP

– US Naval Institute (@NavalInstitute) January 14, 2021

According to the Military Times, the Marine Corps finally saw its first female pilot in 1995. All positions in the military, including combat roles, were opened to women in 2016.

Cole, also an artist who loved her family and church and highly respected all veterans and first responders, served in the Marines through 1945, Kluttz said.

“She would want to greet all veterans for their service as well as the police and the fire department,” said Kluttz.

Cole spent her final years at her daughter’s home in Kannapolis, North Carolina. She is survived by her daughter, two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

The CNN wire
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