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"The Ruptured Duck" (signed by Pilot Ted Lawson, Co-Pilot Dean Davenport, Nav. Charles McClure & Eng/Gun. David Thatcher) ~ 50% Off ~ Free Shipping

  • This frame piece is a one-of-kind!
  • Ink cut-signatures adhered to 2.50" x  4.0" cards also commemorative cooper celebrating the first attack on Japan, 3 miniature dress medals; Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal , Pilots Wings, and a Ruptured Duck enameled pin.  all autographs are signed in ink.
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$647.50 (You save $647.50)
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8.00 LBS
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Product Description

Frame Size: 22" x 28"

autographed by the 4 surviving crew members of the "Ruptured Duck",

Pilot: Maj. Ted Lawson, Co-Pilot: Col. Dean Davenport, Navigator: Capt. Charles McClure and Sgt. David Thatcher. Comes with a COA.

Bombardier: Lt. Robert Clever was killed in a plane crash in November 1942.

"The Ruptured Duck"

Major Ted William Lawson (March 7, 1917 – January 19, 1992) was an American officer in the United States Army Air Forces, who is known as the author of Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, a memoir of his participation in the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in 1942. The book was subsequently adapted into a film of the same name starring Spencer Tracy, Van Johnson and Robert Mitchum.

Early life

Lawson was born in Alameda, California and attended Los Angeles City College in 1937-1938. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in March 1940 while a student studying aeronautical engineering by day and working nights in the drafting department of Douglas Aircraft Company. After basic flight instruction at Hancock Field, Santa Maria, California, Lawson attended primary flying training at Randolph Field and advanced training at Kelly Field, receiving his pilot's wings and commission as a Second Lieutenant on 15 November 1940.
Lawson was assigned to the 95th Bomb Squadron, 17th Bomb Group (Medium) at McChord Field, Washington. He was assigned as a co-pilot flying B-18 Bolo medium bombers and checked out in the Douglas B-23 Dragon. He became a first pilot in February 1941 and two months later the group received seven B-25 Mitchells, the first of the new medium bombers to be assigned to a unit in the Air Corps.
While his squadron was based at McChord, Lawson married Ellen Arlene Reynolds, a librarian at LACC he had met while a student, in Spokane on 5 September 1941. His best man at the ceremony was squadron-mate Lt. Robert M. Gray, who would be a fellow pilot on the Doolittle Raid.

World War II

In early 1942, Lawson, then a First Lieutenant, was flying antisubmarine patrols with the 17th BG out of Pendleton, Oregon. As the first Army Air Corps group to receive the B-25 Mitchell, the 17th BG had the most experienced pilots and so was ordered from Oregon to Lexington County Army Air Base at Columbia, South Carolina, ostensibly to fly similar patrols off the East Coast of the United States but in actuality to prepare for the mission against Japan. The group officially transferred effective 9 February to Columbia, where its combat crews were offered the opportunity to volunteer for an "extremely hazardous" but unspecified mission. On 17 February the group was detached from the Eighth Air Force.
Lieutenant Lawson was accepted as a volunteer for the mission led by then-Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle to bomb Tokyo and several other cities with 16 carrier-launched B-25 Mitchell bombers from aboard the USS Hornet (CV-8) - the first air raid on mainland Japan during World War II following the Pearl Harbor attack. The aircraft that he flew on the raid was nicknamed "The Ruptured Duck" (AAF serial 40-2261). According to Lawson in his book, the plane's unusual name evolved from a minor training accident where the aircraft tail scraped the ground on take-off. Soon after Lawson found someone had written "ruptured duck" in chalk on the fuselage. Inspired, he had B-25 gunner Cpl. Rodger Lovelace create the now-famous caricature of Donald Duck with crutches and pilot's headphones.
After launching the mission 170 miles (275 km) further out than planned and bombing their targets in Japan, all of the aircraft ran out of fuel short of their intended recovery airfields in non-Japanese occupied China. Lawson and his crew crashed their plane off the coast of the small island of Nantien when its engines failed while trying to land on the beach during a storm. Lawson and his co-pilot were both thrown through the windscreen of the B-25, with Lawson suffering a compound fracture of the left leg, a lacerated left bicep, and severe facial injuries in the process.
All five crew members survived the crash; however all but flight engineer/gunner David J. Thatcher received serious injuries. Bombardier Robert Clever would be returned to the U.S., only to die in another plane crash in November, 1942. After he was transported by friendly Chinese throughout several provinces in China to evade Japanese troops searching for his crew, Lawson's infected leg was amputated by the mission's flight surgeon, Lt Thomas R. White, who had volunteered to fly the mission as a gunner on the crew of Lt. Donald Smith. The nose art of the crashed bomber, "The Ruptured Duck", was later salvaged by the Japanese and put on display in Tokyo.

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