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Obituaries

Dean Davenport; Co-Pilot in Doolittle Raid

February 17, 2000

Retired Air Force Col. Dean Davenport, 81, who co-piloted the bomber Ruptured Duck during the daring Doolittle raid on Japan early in World War II. The pilot of Davenport's plane, Lt. Ted W. Lawson, wrote a book about the famous raid called "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" which was made into a motion picture of the same title. Davenport was a technical advisor on the film, which starred Spencer Tracy as Gen. James "Jimmy" Doolittle, for whom the raid was named. The Ruptured Duck was one of 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers launched from the deck of the U.S. aircraft carrier Hornet about 650 miles from Tokyo on April 18, 1942. All but seven of the 80 crew members survived, even though most had to bail out or crash-land because their planes ran out of fuel before reaching their planned landing sites in China. Davenport was injured when his plane went down in the South China Sea after the raid. Davenport, who retired in 1967, also flew 86 combat missions during the Korean War. On Monday in Panama City, Fla.

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