Ted William Lawson

Ted William Lawson

Fresno, Fresno County, California, USA
Death 19 Jan 1992 (aged 74)
Chico, Butte County, California, USA
Burial Chico, Butte County, California, USA
Plot Outside Mausoleum, Building 1, Niche E-7
Memorial ID 17824560 · View Source
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Military Aviator, Author. One of "Doolittle's Raiders". On April 18, 1942, Major Lawson piloted the Ruptured Duck, one of the 16 B-25 Mitchell Bombers in first air attack by the United States in World War 2 against mainland Japan. The raid was planned and led by General Jimmy Doolittle in response to the recent sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Doolittle trained his 16 crews to take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier, which at the time was considered impossible. The planes were transported across the Pacific aboard the USS Hornet. Approximately 200 miles from their scheduled launch point, the carrier was spotted by a Japanese fishing boat. This led Dolittle to conclude the element of surprise had been lost. Doolittle ordered the launch of the planes. All planes safely took off and completed their bombing missions over Japan. Their attack was a total surprise to Japan, who believed their country was safe from an air attack. The early lauch of the planes created severe fuel shortages for the crews, who had planned to land in China. The Ruptured Duck was forced to crash just off the coast of China. Lawson injured his leg during the crash. The Chinese underground, at great risk, smuggled Lawson and his crew out of Japanese Occupied China. During their escape, Lawson's injured leg had to be amputated. In 1943 Lawson, with the help of newspaperman Bob Considine, wrote the best-selling book "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" about the Doolittle Raid. In 1944 it was made into the movie of the same title, starring Van Johnson as Lawson and Spencer Tracy as Doolittle. After the war Lawson operated a machine shop and was a representative for Reynolds Metals with the military. Lawson died in his Chico home of natural causes.

Bio by: Randy

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Randy
  • Added: 5 Feb 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 17824560
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ted William Lawson (7 Mar 1917–19 Jan 1992), Find a Grave Memorial no. 17824560, citing Chico Cemetery, Chico, Butte County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .