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Five survivors of Doolittle Tokyo Raiders recall daring sortie (70TH ANNIVERSARY)
The Washington Times ^ | April 12, 2012 | Ben Wolfgang

Posted on 04/13/2012 11:17:05 AM PDT by jazusamo

Edward Saylor still vividly remembers the Chinese boy who helped save his life. In the days after his plane crashed into the waters just off China’s coast, Mr. Saylor, now 92, and four other Doolittle Tokyo Raiders were desperate and hungry — but they had survived a daring mission that was America’s first military strike against the Imperial Japanese homeland, four months after the infamous sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

“The thought hits you, where you’re at, what you’ve got to do. … We don’t speak the language, what do we do now? That’s what was going through our heads,” said Mr. Saylor, one of the five survivors of the raid who will mark its 70th anniversary on April 18. The young boy helped Mr. Saylor’s crew navigate the Chinese countryside and helped scrounge up what little food he could find, just enough to keep the exhausted airmen moving.

After a weeks-long journey of more than 100 miles — all the while avoiding Japanese forces who had set up blockades of the Chinese coastline — the crew eventually was picked up by an American plane.

To this day, Mr. Saylor still feels a deep debt of gratitude to the young stranger, whom he never saw again.

“We owed him big time,” he said of the boy. “He was sure good for us.”

80 men who made history

Seven decades later, the five remaining survivors of the raid led by then-Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle recognize their prominent place in history. Nothing like it had ever been done before. Nothing like it had ever been done before. But faced with an enemy that already had proved its ability to strike the U.S. homeland, 80 brave men volunteered for what had all the makings of a suicide mission,,,

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: 70thanniversary; doolittleraid; ww2
VIDEO INTERVIEWS OF THE 5 SURVIVORS

1 posted on 04/13/2012 11:17:20 AM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo
I think that every story about the Doolittle raid for the last decade has included the line that "this is expected to be the last time that they will gather."

Rubbish...believe me, as long as any of the survivors who are left can draw a breath, they will find a way to make the reunion..

2 posted on 04/13/2012 11:45:40 AM PDT by ken5050 (The ONLY reason to support Mitt: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will appear at the WH each Christmas)
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To: jazusamo

American balls...wish we still had them


3 posted on 04/13/2012 11:51:57 AM PDT by Razwan (Yeah, yeah, I know...Razwan, member since 30 June 2000)
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To: ken5050

Couldn’t agree more. The three interviewed don’t look bad for their ages and like you say, “they will find a way.”


4 posted on 04/13/2012 11:52:08 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

thanks for link. I tweeted it.


5 posted on 04/13/2012 11:52:33 AM PDT by NEWwoman (God Bless America)
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To: Razwan

BUMP!


6 posted on 04/13/2012 11:53:04 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: NEWwoman

That’s great, thanks!


7 posted on 04/13/2012 11:54:36 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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Please bump the Freepathon or click above and donate or become a monthly donor!

8 posted on 04/13/2012 11:55:09 AM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
I recently read a book on the Doolittle raid in conjunction with my WWII +70 Years project on this site. I was in awe of the courage and willingness to sacrifice shown by the crew members. But it never occurred to me that any of them would have survived to this late date.

Visit our thread next Wednesday the 18th to read the first reports of the raid to reach the American people. I’ll bet there were goose bumps across the fruited plain.

9 posted on 04/13/2012 12:04:39 PM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: jazusamo

Bump.


10 posted on 04/13/2012 12:05:21 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (You can be a Romney Republican or you can be a conservative. You can't be both. Pick one.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

Well said, every last one of these men were courageous above and beyond. I believe it a miracle so few perished on the raid due to the odds and the chain of events.

I’m looking forward to reading the thread on Wednesday, thanks.


11 posted on 04/13/2012 12:18:29 PM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Doolittle

12 posted on 04/13/2012 1:23:04 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: jazusamo

ping


13 posted on 04/13/2012 2:25:35 PM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: jazusamo

ping


14 posted on 04/13/2012 2:26:42 PM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: Razwan

“American balls...wish we still had them.”

###

Lost in the confused haze of moral relativism, fear of predatory lawyer scum, and non-judgmentalism.

Feel free to add your own.....


15 posted on 04/13/2012 2:31:34 PM PDT by EyeGuy (2012: When the Levee Breaks)
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To: unkus

“After a weeks long journey of 100 miles skirting the Chna coast the crew was picked up by an American plane”

WOW! Now that is the other half of their story and a movie that was never made.


16 posted on 04/13/2012 2:38:56 PM PDT by mosesdapoet (The best way to punish a - country is let professors run it. Fredrick the Great p/p)
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To: mosesdapoet
“After a weeks long journey of 100 miles skirting the Chna coast the crew was picked up by an American plane”

WOW! Now that is the other half of their story and a movie that was never made.

Actually, this half of the story was told as part of a movie plot --in 1944.

The movie was 'Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" starring Spencer Tracy, Van Johnson, Robert Walker, Don Defore and a very young, Robert Mitchum.

Van Johnson's character in the movie (Ted Lawson) looks like it was based on what happened to Edward Saylor.

17 posted on 04/13/2012 3:34:30 PM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker (People should not be afraid of the government. Government should be afraid of the people)
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To: magslinger

ping


18 posted on 04/13/2012 4:48:21 PM PDT by Vroomfondel
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

Yea I saw the movie when it first came out. It covered part of the story but not what was (logistics n stuff like that)behind the rescue missions plus the flight out. Those emergency airfields, like the ones in Yugoslavia were secret at the time . .


19 posted on 04/13/2012 4:51:20 PM PDT by mosesdapoet (The best way to punish a - country is let professors run it. Fredrick the Great p/p)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker

Great movie!!..Very stirring theme music, and the shot when they fly the plane UNDER the Bay Bridge is a classic...


20 posted on 04/13/2012 6:10:02 PM PDT by ken5050 (The ONLY reason to support Mitt: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will appear at the WH each Christmas)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
Van Johnson's character in the movie (Ted Lawson) looks like it was based on what happened to Edward Saylor.

Ted Lawson was the actual Pilot of Plane #7 ("The Ruptured Duck) and 30 Seconds is a pretty accurate presentation of what happened.

David Thatcher, one of the last five, was his flight engineer/turret gunner. Despite what the WashTimes article says, the other crew of The Ruptured Duck did not suffer "minor injuries" but were seriously wounded. Lawson and Davenport (the Co-Pilot) were attempting a wheels-down landing on a beach when both engines cut out due to fuel-starvation. The plane hit the water with the gear down. Lawson and Davenport were catapulted, still in their seats, through the cockpit glass. In 30-Seconds Lawson describes in detail having to unbuckle himself from the seat - now outside the aircraft and under water. Lawson lost all of his front teeth and tore his leg up (it caught on the hook for the pilot's headset) to the point where it had to be amputated. He also broke his back in the "ejection", something that wasn't learned until much later and he spent the rest of his life (died in the early 1990s) in serious pain.

McClure, the navigator, was kneeling behind Lawson and Davenport in the cockpit. The force of his shoulders hitting the back of their seats helped propel them - with Lawson and Davenport still in them - out through the canopy. Both his shoulders were dislocated in the process.

Clever, the bombardier, was crawling back into the main part of the aircraft through the "tunnel" from the greenhouse nose. He was shot, backside first, out the front of the aircraft.

Thatcher, in the back of the plane, was well-protected.

While the WashTimes article is a nice tribute, it's unfortunately rife with inaccuracies. For instance, Plane #8 didn't crash-land in Russia. It landed intact and operational at an aerodrome outside of Vladivostok (in recent years post-raid pictures of it have emerged from the old Soviet archives), where it was interred and pressed into service with the Red Air Force. It apparently survived until the early 1950s, when it was consumed in a fire (*sob*). Here's a picture of the plane taken outside Vladivostok the day after the Raid:



As an aside: note the heavy exhaust staining caused by the specially-tuned engines of the plane. The Raider aircrafts' engines had been tuned to boost fuel efficiency - apparently had the other planes survives their engines would have been pretty burned out and needed to be swapped out/overhauled following the Raid.

Additionally, contrary to the article the Raiders got an ENORMOUS amount of press attention after the Raid. All were awarded the DFC and Doolittle was awarded the Medal of Honor. There was a big LIFE magazine spread on the Raid (with pictures of all the Raiders), followed by Lawson's book ... which led to the movie with Spencer Tracey and Van Johnson.
21 posted on 04/14/2012 11:07:15 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

bump


22 posted on 04/14/2012 8:03:11 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: tanknetter

bump!

Of course the US would play up the PR value of the raid


23 posted on 04/14/2012 8:46:11 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: jazusamo

24 posted on 04/14/2012 8:51:54 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Thanks for posting the photo. I surely hope a video is made when the last two open the bottle.


25 posted on 04/15/2012 4:45:11 PM PDT by jazusamo (Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud: Thomas Sowell)
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