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May 2021
A Doctor Proved His Worth on the Doolittle Mission
The story of the famous 1942 Doolittle raid on Japan has been told many times, but not often from a physician’s point of view. One of our docents, David G. Schall, a former Air Force flight surgeon, gave us that perspective and more in an April 17 presentation at the Museum.

The presentation included public fight of the Museum’s B-25 medium bomber “In The Mood.”

Eighty crewmen flew sixteen B-25s from the carrier USS Hornet to hit Japan on April 18, 1942. The mission, planned and led by world-famous aviator and reserve Army Air Forces pilot Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, was the first strike against Japan since its attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The strike did little damage, but gave American morale a huge boost during dark days. It had a
huge effect on Japanese military planning. It forced Japan to devote more resources to its own defense, and to redouble its efforts to eliminate American aircraft carriers. Its focus on carriers, which were not at Pearl Harbor during the attack and thus were not struck, led to the Battle of Midway in June 1942. Japan lost four large carriers and a significant number of its experienced naval aircrews, opening the door to ultimate American and Allied victory in the Pacific.

When docent Dave Schall -- now retired after 37 years in the U.S. Air Force with a longtime
interest in World War II aviation -- learned that a flight surgeon was one of the crewmen on the Doolittle mission, he thought, "We should know more about this guy."
The doctor, he said, was Thomas R. "Bob" White. White wanted to go as a flight surgeon, but had to train as a gunner so he wouldn’t add more weight. His sharp eye made him the second-best gunner in the group. Before the raid, he helped with injections and prepared the crews to care for any wounds they might receive.

White had a couple of reasons to volunteer for the revenge mission, Schall said. He was born in Maui, Hawaii, not far from Pearl Harbor. And one of his friends in the December 1941 graduating class of the Army Air Corps' School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Field, San Antonio, Texas, was Dr. William R. Schick, who was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Schall explained that Schick was aboard the second of ten B-17 bombers that happened to arrive at Pearl Harbor from California as the Japanese attack was underway. Japanese fighters jumped Schick's plane, and Schick was struck by a ricocheting bullet. The burning B-17 landed hard, breaking in half.

All crewmembers got out. Some, including Schick, ran for an open field, where they were strafed. Schick was hit in the neck by another ricochet. He made his way to the hospital and offered to help in the chaos. But, Schall said, he died, becoming the first American flight surgeon killed in World War II.

The Hornet, with Doolittle’s B-25s aboard, departed San Francisco on April 2, 1942. The official
story, as it passed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, was that it was ferrying the B-25s to Hawaii. After a couple of days at sea, its real mission was announced.

Doc White could pick the pilot he wanted to fly with, and he chose, apparently not by chance, Lt. Donald G. Smith of Crew No. 15. Smith consistently made the shortest takeoffs while training at Eglin Field, Florida – a handy skill to have when taking off from an aircraft carrier.​

Smith’s plane was stationed well aft on the Hornet's deck as it sailed west. During one routine
check, metal fragments were found in the oil of one of the engines. It was removed, checked and remounted. A test flight would normally have followed. But, Schall said, "their test flight was the mission."

Doolittle's plan was to launch 500 miles or so from Japan. They would strike several targets,
including Tokyo, at about sunset, then proceed to China, landing at about dawn. They would then conduct attacks on Japanese forces in China.

But the Hornet and other ships in the task force were spotted some 700 miles away from Japan, meaning fuel would be a problem. To help solve it, the crews used portable jerry cans of extra gas.
The Hornet turned immediately into the wind and ran up to top speed, increasing the velocity of wind over the deck to assist takeoffs. The B-25s were quickly launched, with Doolittle going first. He was airborne in only 467 feet, inspiring the other crews. All took off within an hour, but not without incident.

(Photo shows a model of the Hornet with B-25s aboard. The model, crafted by Docent Don Johnson is on display at the Museum.)

Lt. Ted W. Lawson, pilot of Crew No. 7, had his flaps down in preparation for takeoff. But he retracted them, fearing the plane might be moved by the high wind as the plane waited to taxi into takeoff position. When the takeoff signal came, he took off, but he’d forgotten to lower the flaps. He barely made it.

The plexiglass nose of Crew No. 16's B-25, piloted by Lt. William G. Farrow, was cracked when the plane ahead of him rolled backwards. Then a sailor helping with the takeoff slipped on the wet, pitching, windy deck and fell into one of the plane's two whirling propellers. He lost an arm but survived the war. Farrow's plane was the last to take off. He must have wondered what else could go wrong. Schall said he would soon find out.

All the B-25s made it to Japan and dropped their bombs in broad daylight. Doc White's B-25
attacked the Japanese port city of Kobe. None of the planes were hit by Japanese fire. All made it to China with nearly empty tanks, all crashing in the dark, with many crews parachuting to the ground.

Ted Lawson decided to put his plane down on a beach. But a huge wave threw him and co-pilot
Lt. Dean Davenport through the plexiglass windshield, still strapped to their seats., Schall said. Lawson suffered a grievous leg injury. Navigator Lt. Charles L. McClure, kneeling between the two pilots, dislocated both shoulders, backwards. Nose-gunner Sgt. David J. Thatcher sustained a skull fracture.

Lawson and McClure were able to unbuckle their seat belts. Thatcher saw them in the surf and
dragged them out of the water. Friendly Chinese happened along to evacuate all the men.

Doc White's plane crashed relatively nearby. He helped Lawson’s crew evade the Japanese.
Conditions were primitive, but he saved Lawson’s life using 1890's surgical equipment to do a Medical Center type of leg amputation in the field. He also transfused him with two units of his own O-blood." White stayed with Lawson during a grueling two-month-long journey to Walter Reed hospital in Washington, D.C.

Most of the 80 Raiders made it back to the U.S. Two of the sixteen five-man crews were
captured. One was that of Lt. Farrow. He carefully leaned his fuel to fly the farthest of all the crews – but came down at a Japanese railroad station. Farrow and his gunner, Sgt. Harold A. Spatz, were executed. The other three men were imprisoned under harsh conditions but survived the war.​
The pilot of the second captured crew, Lt. Dean E. Hallmark, was executed. Schall said Hallmark’s copilot, Lt. Robert J. Meder, died in prison of dysentery, an infection of the intestines. Two other men drowned. Lt. Chase J. Nielsen, Hallmark’s navigator, was the only survivor of this crew.

(Museum President and CEO Bill Klaers checks Museum's B-25 before April 17 public flight.)

Attending Schall’s presentation was Jimmy Bower, son of William M. Bower, pilot of Crew No. 12. Jimmy, named for Jimmy Doolittle, carried a copy of the Congressional Gold Medal that was given to the Raiders in 2015.

Schall said Doolittle thought he would be court-martialed because he lost all his planes, but he received the Medal of Honor and was promoted to Brigadier General. All 80 Raiders received the Distinguished Flying Cross, and some the Purple Heart. Two also received the Silver Star – David Thatcher and Doc White. White died in 1992 at the age of 83.

Two World War II veterans attended the presentation. Les Frey flew B-25s. Ed Beck was captured during the Battle of the Bulge. But, he said, “I made it through.”
Rich Tuttle

Rich Tuttle
Battle of Midway Presentation Planned for June 5
On Saturday, June 5, the museum will open early for a special presentation on the Battle of Midway. This one-hour event and follow-on flight demonstration will be held on the 79th anniversary of the epic air and sea battle that changed the course of the war in the Pacific. The presentation will begin at 9:00 am in the Westpac Hangar located on the museum campus.

This presentation will describe the three-pronged attack by Japanese forces that was designed to secure the eastern perimeter of Japan’s holdings in the Pacific and neutralize the United States as a naval power for the remainder of the war. The presenter will explore how U.S. forces were able to locate the Japanese Carrier Strike Force that was leading the attack and destroy it, causing Japan to withdraw its invasion force and go on the defensive for the remainder of the war.

The story of the Battle of Midway, and its broader implications, will be presented by John Lynch, a retired U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps Commander and long-time docent at the National Museum of World War II Aviation. John is a private pilot with a seaplane rating and a lifelong interest in Naval Aviation history and World War II.

The Battle of Midway presentation will be at Westpac, where the museum's rare
SBD Dauntless dive bomber will be on display. The SBD was one of the keys to victory in the Battle of Midway. The SBD will be flown following the presentation, subject to weather conditions and runway availability.

The schedule for the event is as follows:
8:00 am Doors Open
9:00 am Presentation
9:45 am SBD Dauntless Walk-Around and Start-Up
10:00 am SBD Dauntless Taxi and Take-Off

For more information contact the Museum at 719-637-7559
The National Museum of World War II Aviation
775 Aviation Way, Colorado Springs 80916
“JJ” Inman, P-51 Pilot with Flying Tigers,
Passes Away at Age 98
Lt. Col. Johnny Junior “JJ” Inman, USAF (ret.), a P-51 pilot with the Flying Tigers in China during World War II, passed away May 7 in Colorado Springs. He was 98 years old.

Inman visited the museum several times with a group of other World War II vets. Each time, the vets spoke with visitors and shared their stories. Covid-19 restrictions allowed no formal presentations during an August 16, 2020, session but visitors were able to approach the vets individually as they sat at tables inside the Kaija Raven Shook Pavilion near open hangar doors.

The museum was honored to host the vets, all in their 90s, some 75 years after Japan surrendered and hostilities in World War II ended.

Inman was born August 11, 1922, on a farm near Concordia, Kansas. He said he began flight training in January, 1942, ultimately transitioning first to the P-40 and then to the P-51. He was sent to China via India, where he spent a couple of months.

In China, he flew with the 76th Fighter Squadron of the 23rd Fighter Group. Missions were flown from several bases while Inman was there, including Lingling, Liuchow and Luliang. He flew for about a year, until Japan surrendered in August, 1945.

Inman said one particular mission stood out. The whole 23rd Fighter Group, which he said was
about 25 P-51s and seven or eight B-25s, staged to Shanghai. Inman was flying wing on a new Major who had just arrived. But the Major "got lost and we had to use full throttle to catch up with the flight, which used a lot of gas," Inman said. "We used the fuselage tank first, of course. If you didn't, it would cause the airplane not to fly properly."

But "my engine quit, ran out of gas on the fuselage tank. And I switched to the wing tank, and it
wouldn't catch, and I hit that wobble pump to try to push the gas to the engine. It wouldn't catch. And I was going to bail out. And I looked down and there were Japanese everyplace. And I said, 'I believe I'll try that wobble pump one more time.'

"And luckily the engine caught, [I] got back to the staging base," Inman said. But "the guy that
was in the traffic pattern ahead of me had a tire shot out and he ground-looped on the runway. And the control called me and said 'Go around,' and I said, 'No, not this time.'

"So, I landed on the edge of the runway and my engine quit while I was at the end of the runway. I landed right beside him."
Museum Loses a Great Friend
Barbara Jean Bates Edwards left this life suddenly on March 4, 2021. She was at home in Colorado Springs with two of her children. Barbara was a proud native of Western Nebraska, born in McCook, Nebraska on August 7, 1931, the eldest child of Frances E. and Greta Bates. She was raised in Benkelman, Nebraska, and her academic studies supported her selection as valedictorian of her high school class.

She was a voracious reader, known to read 5-7 books a week, even up to her last day. Barbara always knew the locations and details of libraries, bookstores, and book clubs wherever she was.

She married Wilson (Bill) V. Edwards, on August 15,1959, at the Ent Air Force Base chapel, now the location of the U.S. Olympic training center. They were commonly known as Bill and Barb. They traveled the world due to his military career and her interests. They lived in France, Germany, California, Oregon, Washington, and finally settled back again in "the Springs" in 1968.

During her career as civil servant to the United States military, she worked at Ent Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, NORAD, the United States Air Force Academy, the Chidlaw building (NORAD headquarters), and Fort Carson. Barbara was an Honorary member of the Royal Canadian Air Force 971st Wing due to her constant contact and many close friendships with the Colorado Springs RCAF group. Barb was a cherished volunteer at the National Museum of World War II Aviation greeting visitors at the front desk.

She is survived by her sister, Francine Pieper; daughter, Dawn; 3 sons, Gary, Dan and Steven; 8 grandchildren, Blake, Tyler, Brooke, Garrett, Alexander, Andrew, Ethan, Evan; and 2 great grandchildren. We sincerely miss Barbara Jean Edwards.
Volunteer of the 1st Quarter 2021
Johnny Drury
Museum Docent and Host
Johnny Drury is presented with the Volunteer of the Quarter Award by Museum President Bill Klaers and Team Leads Jack Humphrey, Phil Heacock and Debi Klaers.  Johnny is second from the left in this picture and has been a volunteer at the museum since December 2018.

He started as a Display Demonstrator, and has since become a museum Host and Front Desk Attendant, and has helped meet the needs of Covid-19 requirements as a member of the Cleaning and Sanitizing Team. He works at the museum almost every day that the museum is open to the public and is always looking for ways to help.

Johnny is passionate about the museum's mission of bringing the World War II story to the public and is well deserving of this award. When you visit the museum, be sure to look for Johnny to congratulate him and thank him for a job well done!
Commemorative Bench

Your family, organization or business can now support the museum in a unique way, while at the same time enhancing the visitor experience at the National Museum of World War II
Aviation. We are offering donors the opportunity to purchase a commemorative hardwood and steel bench, hand-crafted in the museum’s workshop and placed inside the Kaija Raven Shook Aeronautical Pavilion. Visit our website to learn more:
Comments From Our Readers
My name is Jim Wattenburger and my Dad was Robert C. Wattenburger, a Navy Fighter Pilot in WWII and Korea.
He passed on April 1st, at 98 years young.
He flew the the Wildcat, Hellcat, Corsair, Panther and 31 other aircraft in WWII, Korea and in between. 
He was awarded 2 DFC‘s (Distinguished Flying Crosses) and 4 Air Medals.
He is credited with 2.5 kills during WWII.
He was one of the Very First Night Fighter Pilots and flew in VF 90, VCN-2, VC 3, Night Composite Squadron 3, VF 653 and others.
He was a Night Fighter Pilot Instructor, a jet fighter test pilot, CIC Officer and a Helicopter Pilot.
He flew from 7 aircraft carriers during two wars.
He flew 35 different aircraft and was shot down by North Korean anti aircraft fire during the Inchon amphibious landings by General McArthur, ditching in Wonson Harbor next to a US destroyer. He went back to conducting close air support the very next day.
He flew in 16 different combat actions in WW II, including flying close air support for the beach landings at Iwo Jima, where his brother, a Marine Captain was leading his Marines onto the beach.
He was awarded many other citations and medals. 
Another of the Greatest Generation has passed on. I am proud of my farther. 
He would have loved the Museum. Keep the Faith and keep the Museum safe and open !!!!! 
Most sincerely,
Jim & Bob Wattenburger
Did You Know...

Japan's Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter was designed in 1937 not only to be highly maneuverable,
but also to escort Japanese bombers on round-trip flights from Japan to distant targets in China. The Imperial Japanese Navy laid down the requirements "during the Second Sino-Japanese War that began in July of that year," writes Russell Lee in a blog for the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum.
Chief designer of the Zero for Mitsubishi, Jiro Horikoshi, and his team "began working on the aircraft in October [1937],” knowing "that making the fighter as lightweight as possible would benefit both maneuverability and range," said Lee, a curator in the Smithsonian's Aeronautics Department and responsible for Japanese aircraft.

"Horikoshi’s team designed lightness into the Zero’s airframe by paying close attention to many small details," said Lee's blog, posted on May 1, 2020. "As explained in a 1945 article about the Zero published in Aviation [Magazine], “Nothing has been spared to keep weight down, neither excessive man-hours to manufacture complex units nor increasing maintenance difficulties for ground crews.”

Another article, published by the University of Houston, says Horikoshi "mixed invention with
sacrifice." He not only "rewrote airplane design codes [and] got his hands on a new super-aluminum, [but] also made the Zero without armor for the pilot and without self-sealing gas tanks."