HomeNewsArticle Display

Rechristening honors Doolittle Raiders’ 75th anniversary

Becky Thatcher, daughter of the late Doolittle Raider Staff Sgt. David Thatcher, and U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. William Hatten from 28th Maintenance Squadron from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Ruptured Duck dedicated crew chief, unveil the newest rendition of the Ruptured Duck artwork during a ceremony for the new Ruptured Duck artwork, Apr. 17, 2017 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The original artwork featured a cross-eyed duck, wearing a leather helmet, staring out over crossed crutches. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

Becky Thatcher, daughter of the late Doolittle Raider Staff Sgt. David Thatcher, and Tech. Sgt. William Hatten, a 28th Maintenance Squadron dedicated crew chief from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., unveil the newest rendition of the Ruptured Duck artwork during a ceremony April 17, 2017, at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The original artwork featured a cross-eyed duck, wearing a leather helmet, staring out over crossed crutches. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

Retired Doolittle Raider, Lt. Col. Dick Cole, (front right) watches an unveiling ceremony for the new Ruptured Duck artwork, Apr. 17, 2017 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Cole is the last remaining member of the original Doolittle Raiders who took off from an aircraft carrier to deliver the first strike of the war on Japanese homeland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

Retired Doolittle Raider, Lt. Col. Dick Cole, (front right) watches an unveiling ceremony for the new Ruptured Duck artwork, Apr. 17, 2017 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Cole is the last remaining member of the original Doolittle Raiders who took off from an aircraft carrier to deliver the first strike of the war on Japanese homeland. (U.S. Air Force photo / Wesley Farnsworth)

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO (AFNS) -- The 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders was commemorated April 17, 2017, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as a B-1 Lancer bomber from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, was rechristened the “Ruptured Duck”.
New nose art was also unveiled on the B-1 in tribute to a B-25 Mitchell bomber flown during the Doolittle Raid in 1942.

Ellsworth AFB’s 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons were the same squadrons selected by Lt. Col. James Doolittle to attack the Japanese homefront with hopes of raising the morale of allied troops during World War II.

Attending the noon ceremony, held along the Wright-Patterson AFB flight line, was Richard E. Cole, a retired lieutenant colonel who served as Doolittle’s co-pilot on Crew Number 1. Cole, now 101 years old, is the sole surviving Doolittle Raider. He was joined by his daughter, along with the wife and family of Sgt. David Thatcher, who flew as the engineer/gunner on the Ruptured Duck. Thatcher died in June 2016.

“Tomorrow (April 18), we will celebrate the anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, when Crew Number 7 took off from the deck of the carrier USS Hornet in their Mitchell B-25B bomber along with the 15 other crews comprising the historic mission to bomb Tokyo and four other Japanese cities in retaliation for Japan’s surprise attack (in) December 1941 on Pearl Harbor,” said Jeff Thatcher, David Thatcher’s son.

The newly painted Ruptured Duck nose art was revealed by the Ruptured Duck’s dedicated crew chief, Tech. Sgt. William Hatten and Becky Thatcher, daughter of David Thatcher.

“This action commemorates a single plane of 16, which symbolizes all the men of the Doolittle Raid who flew into an unknown fate and who completed their mission with valor,” said Capt. Devin Ivy, a member of the 28th Operations Support Squadron from Ellsworth AFB, and the event’s emcee. “The crews will fly in the new Ruptured Duck and carry the legacy of all the Doolittle Raider crews into the future as part of the defense of the United States of America.”

“It is with sincere gratitude that I stand before you today accepting this christening of the new Ruptured Duck,” said Col. John Martin, the 28th Operations Group commander at Ellsworth AFB. “What a privilege to stand with the wife and family of Sgt. David Thatcher, (Lt.) Col. Dick Cole and his family – two bomber legends and heroes from an epic point in American wartime folklore.”

Today’s modern Raiders of the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons proudly continue that legacy of leadership, he said.
“On the wings of aircraft like the new Ruptured Duck, the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons continue to write their own chapters in our nation’s history, leading with valor and punctuating their mark with the emblems of the Raider,” Martin said.

The 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Tokyo Raid is being commemorated with various events April 17 and April 18. For more information, go to www.nationalmuseum.af.mil, www.wpafb.af.mil, www.facebook.com/WPAFB or www.facebook.com/AFMuseum.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
.@RAFMildenhall #KC135 crew strengthened relationship with Romanian #AirForce through air refueling training. For m… https://t.co/8dGvm2HQwC
RT @SecAFOfficial: Mother nature can’t beat the 55th Wing! We will recover @Offutt_AFB from the devastating flood. Amazing American 🇺🇸 spir…
Today the #AirForce announced a new Infrastructure Investment Strategy following a yearlong review that brings a ne… https://t.co/i1yDRQkaPl
RT @Offutt_AFB: As the water has begun to recede, Team Offutt is in full recovery mode. https://t.co/6QPZ96UNZY
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thanks to Iowa leaders who just signed a bill to recognize out of state licenses for our military spouses! @SenJoniErnst
RT @SecAFOfficial: This will make a difference on our bases for decades to come...getting more out of every dollar we spend on #infrastruct
See how our aircraft maintainers keep our #F15s safe and mission ready! @142ndFW https://t.co/H6CrSoCCIg
RT @NASA: During today's spacewalk, we'll be taking questions about our @NASA_Astronauts' excursion outside of the @Space_Station. Ask ques…
RT @US_Stratcom: Global #StrategicDeterrence! Integrating #B52s from @US_EUCOM & @INDOPACOM to conduct simultaneous theater familiarization…
The #KC135 Stratotanker nose art "Black Jack" dates back to the #BloodyHundredth's battle-hardened days of… https://t.co/43zMmRWnsP
Whether our aircraft are taking off, landing or in need of assistance, air traffic controller #Airmen are active ye… https://t.co/eBlrhUI7mQ
#WeCanDoIt! The #USAF wishes a #HappyBirthday to one of the original “Rosie the Riveters,” Ms. Mae Krier, who turne… https://t.co/n24xC5NClI
RT @Offutt_AFB: A 1,000 yr flood wasn’t enough to stop our professionals from the flying mission. Projecting global combat airpower is neve…
Are you fueled for the day? #USAF #F15E Strike Eagle refuels from a 908th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron… https://t.co/SXIXjZa8pd
The #AFIT kicked off its #centennial anniversary celebration, recognizing how the men and women who study at AFIT t… https://t.co/S8x9Qn6GH3
380th Air Expeditionary Wing #logistics planners provide the magic behind movements to ensure all cargo & #Airmen a… https://t.co/cNjTcMWNcX
The #AirForce have been pioneers in uncontested space, maintaining the world's most cutting-edge lethal force for o… https://t.co/JqWLA93gqO
.@RAFMildenhall flew a #KC135 Stratotanker to Romania on Mar. 10, 2019 to conduct air refueling training with the R… https://t.co/CD0VLgBNuv
RT @DeptofDefense: What drives some of the most fearless and talented pilots in today’s @USAirForce? Check out our Q&A with pilot Capt. Mic…