B-25 Mitchell Ruptured Duck
B-25 Mitchell Ruptured Duck Nose Art
Flown by Lt, Ted W. Lawson (Doolittle Raid)
Dimensions: 40" x 18.5"
Early in 1942, First Lieutenant Lawson was flying patrols Looking for submarines. The 17th bomb Group out of Pendleton, Oregon was the first Army Air Corps group to use the B-25 Mitchell Ruptured Duck.
The 17th Bomb Group was deployed to Lexington County Army Air Base. They were to train by flying practice patrols off the East Coast of the United States. This training prepared them for the missions along the coast of Japan.
Lawson accepted the offer for a mission led by Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle. Their mission would be a direct strike on Tokyo and many other cities within mainland Japan.
The mission was launched from the USS Hornet with 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers. It would be the first air raid on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor!
Lieutenant Lawson's the B-25 nicknamed "Ruptured Duck". The plane's name was the result of a training incident where the tail of the plane struck the ground. After that incident, Lawson found the name "ruptured duck" on the side of the bomber written in chalk.
Dawson's tail gunner Rodger Lovelace painted the caricature of "Donald Duck" on the B-25. He added the crutches, pilot's headphones and the name "Ruptured Duck".
The mission launched 170 miles further out than planned to bomb their targets in Japan. Not having enough fuel all the 16 B-25s landed short of their intended airfields in China.
Lawson and his crew ditched their bomber off the coast of the small island of Nantien. Lawson and gunner David J. Thatcher suffered serious injuries. Lawson's injuries were the worst suffering from a compound fracture of the left leg.
Lawson's flight crew members survived the ditching of the B-25. Lawson's infected leg was amputated by the mission's flight surgeon, Lt Thomas R. White.