Passing of Doolittle Raider Nolan Herndon
Doolittle Raider Nolan Herndon passed away on 8 Oct 2007 in Columbia, South Carolina, United States. The cause was pneumonia.
On 18 Apr 1942, Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle led a daring aerial raid on Japan. Inside bomber number 8, Herndon served as the navigator-bombardier. After bombing Japan, his bomber landed in the Russian port city of Vladivostok after the strike. He, like other members of the crew, expected friendly faces; instead, they were imprisoned. They were first imprisoned right in Vladivostok, where they were given just enough food to survive. They were later transferred to a Russian town 15 miles north of the Iranian border, where they worked as repairmen of trainer aircraft. On 26 May 1943, they made their escape by bribing a truck driver to smuggle them into Iran, where the British helped them return to the United States via India.
"To tell you the truth, I wish all of that would go away," Herndon told author Craig Nelson, unwilling to view himself as a hero. "We were just doing our job", he added.
Herndon is survived by his wife Julia, his son James, and ten grand- and great-grandchildren. He will be buried at Travis Park Cemetery in Saluda, South Carolina.
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