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  B-25B "Ruptured Duck" Serial Number 40-2261  
12th AF
17th BG
95th BS

Pilot  Lt. Ted W. Lawson, O-399549 (WIA, survived)
Co-Pilot  Lt. Dean Davenport, O-427310 (WIA, survived)
Navigator  Lt. Chas. L. McClure, O-431647 (WIA, survived)
Bombardier  Lt. Robert S. Clever, O-432336 (WIA), survived
Engineer  Sgt. David J. Thatcher, 19019573 (WIA, survived)

Ditched  April 18, 1942 "Doolittle Raid"
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by North American Aviation (NAA). Constructors Number 62B-2930. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25B Mitchell serial number 40-2261.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 17th Bombardment Group, 95th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Ruptured Duck" with nose art of Disney Donald Duck character with crossed crutches. One of sixteen B-25's assigned to the "Doolittle Raid".

Mission History
On April 18, 1942 took off at 8:43am from the USS Hornet (CV-8) piloted by Lt. Ted W. Lawson as aircraft number seven (no. 7) of sixteen bombers on the "Doolittle Raid" against targets in Japan. Over the target, this B-25 dropped three demolition bombs and one incendiary bomb on an industrial section of Tokyo.

After the raid, this bomber ditched in the China Sea west of Shangchow in China. Three crew were badly injured, injured, one slightly injured and delployed their life raft. Thatcher was only slightly injured and swam back to the wreck to get the medical kit from inside.

Fates of the Crew
Chinese fishermen were persuaded by Thatcher to carry his injured crew mates to temporary safety. Then for three days Chinese fishermen were forced or persuaded by him to carry the injured crew members over difficult mountainous terrain for medical treatment. All the crew were rescued as a result of Thatcher's leadership.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25B Mitchell 40-2261
"2261 (17th BG, 95th BS, "Ruptured Duck") was Doolittle raider. Was 7th aircraft launched from USS Hornet, bombed Tokyo, ran out of fuel and ditched on coast near Shangchow Apr 18, 1942."
General Doolittle's Report on Japanese Raid April 18, 1942

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Last Updated
February 22, 2020


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