Dorothy Cole, the oldest US marine veteran passed away at the age of 107, her daughter confirmed.
Cole, who was known as ‘Dot’ to family and friends, joined the US Marine in December 1941, when Japanese air forces attacked Pearl Harbour naval base in Hawaii.
In 1943, at the age of 28, Cole became one of the first women to ever join the Marine Corp’s Women’s Reserve.
“There were women volunteering with the Red Cross and knitting while sitting in church, so I thought I had to do something,” Cole told the Marine Corps Times in September last year. “At the time, I didn’t think I was doing anything great. I knew I was helping our country,’ she said.”
According to Beth Kluttz, Cole’s daughter, she had been inspired by Amelia Earhart and had dreams of taking flying lessons to become a pilot.
“She thought she would impress the military by taking flying lessons. She had about 200 flying hours in, and flying a Piper Cub, and she thought that would impress the military and the Marine Corps,” Kluttz told CNN. “But when she got in there, they just put her behind the desk.”
Cole passed away over the weekend after suffering a heart attack at her home in North Carolina, and tributes have been pouring in for the US marine veteran ever since.
“Fair Winds and Following Seas. Join us in saying goodbye to Sgt. Dorothy (Schmidt) Cole who passed away last week as the oldest living Marine,” The US Marines tweeted.
“Our deepest condolences to the family of U.S. Marine Sergeant Dorothy Cole. A Kannapolis resident, Dorothy (Dot), passed away last week. At 107 years old, she was the oldest living U.S. Marine. Semper Fidelis,” the city of Kannapolis tweeted.