One of Four Surviving World War II Veterans of "Doolittle Tokyo Raid" to Speak at Museum June 15
Lt. Col. Ed Saylor will talk about historic 1942 bombing mission over Tokyo
SEATTLE, June 5, 2013--Lt. Col. Ed Saylor is one of 80 flight crew members who flew in the historic "Doolittle Tokyo Raid" on Tokyo on April 18, 1942. He is one of only four living veterans of the mission. On June 15 at 2 p.m. Saylor will talk about this remarkable mission that helped change the course of World War II. The lecture is free with admission to the Museum.
The Doolittle Tokyo Raid
By spring 1942, the United States was struggling in its war with Japan. The nation needed a victory to boost morale and send a grave warning to the Japanese aggressors. At the time, the Japanese mainland was beyond the reach of any U.S.-based bomber. Yet a plan was devised to bomb Tokyo. An aircraft carrier could conceivably get planes within hitting distance of the city, but bombers were not designed for carrier takeoffs or landings. New techniques were devised to accomplish the takeoffs, but a return flight to the carrier was impossible. It was a one-way journey with dubious chances of reaching friendly territory in China after overflying Japan. The near-suicidal mission was organized and led by Gen. James Doolittle, one of greatest figures in aviation history. His volunteer squadron became known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders. On April 18, 1942 eighty men in 16 B-25 bombers flew off of the deck of the USS Hornet and into history. The bomb damage from the raid was not great, but it had far-reaching effects. It lifted the gloom that had descended upon America and her Pacific allies, while the Japanese military leadership had to dramatically rethink their strategies. The book and feature film "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" were based upon the story of this raid.
Lt. Col. Ed Saylor
Saylor was born March 15, 1920, in Brusett, Montana. He graduated from Garfield County high School in Jordan, Montana. On December 7, 1939 Saylor enlisted at Fort George Wright, Wash. and attended Air Corps Training School in Chanute Field, Ill. He served throughout World War II both stateside and overseas until March, 1945. Saylor accepted a commission in October 1947 and served as Aircraft Maintenance Officer at bases in Iowa, Washington, Labrador and England. His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Force Commendation Medal and the Chinese Army, Navy, and Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.
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