Monday, March 26, 2007

Lt. Col. Chase J. Nielsen; Doolittle Raid; Thirty Seconds over Tokyo

Lt. Colonel Chase J. Nielsen died on Friday.
Nielsen was a navigator in one of the most daring air raids in American history, when 16 B-25 bombers took off from an aircraft carrier and bombed Tokyo on April 18, 1942.

Nielsen and his crew -- named "Crew 6," because of the order in which they left the aircraft carrier -- ditched the plane off the coast of China after it ran out of fuel. He then spent more than three years as a Japanese prisoner of war. Nielsen was the only member of "Crew 6" to survive the war.

H/T Utah Aviation Hall of Fame

H/T Michelle Malkin

bombers lined up on the Hornet awaiting takeoff on route to Japan in April 1942 - H/T KUTV Salt Lake City

Nielsen was mentioned in "Thiry Seconds Over Tokyo." The pilot of another of the bombing crews (Captain Ted Lawson) wrote of the Americans' ordeal after crashing near China following the raid. The crews of the various planes had lost touch with each other. Lawson was informed that Nielsen had been bayoneted by the Japanese, "but there was no way of checking on that." (p. 157).

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