WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Two B-1B bombers from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota will be part of a noon ceremony at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on the base flightline Monday, April 17, where officials from the 28th-Bomb Wing will unveil “Ruptured Duck” nose art on one of the aircraft.
According to a review of the movie “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,” the “Ruptured Duck” moniker hails back to when Lt. Ted Lawson, pilot of the 7th aircraft in the Doolittle Raiders force of 16 B-25 bombers, joined the other Doolittle Raiders in Florida to practice taking off in less than 500 feet as they would need to do from the deck of the aircraft carrier, USS Hornet.
During a practice takeoff, Lawson scraped the bottom of the tail of his aircraft. From that point forward, his repaired B-25 was christened the “Ruptured Duck.” A member of his ground crew painted the name on the side of the plane as well as a picture of a cross-eyed duck, wearing a leather helmet, staring out over crossed crutches. The nose art has changed over the years and the newest version will be unveiled during this ceremony.
This event is part of a two-day observance being held at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raiders mission over Japan on April 18, 1942.
Among several guests in attendance will be Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, 101, who served as Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot on Crew No. 1 of the 16 B-25 bombers that participated in the famous WWII raid.
Story courtesy of the National Museum of the United States Air Force.