Monday, September 22, 2014

Joplin Family Has Doolittle Connection

From the April 18, 2012, Joplin (Mo.) Globe "Joplin Family has connection to Doolittle's raiders" by Mike Pound.

Of the 80 Raiders along with Doolittle, 3 were killed, 8 captured, 3 shot, 1 died of disease.  The rest returned to action and 13 more were killed during the war.

In 1988, Col. Travis Hoover moved to Japan to be closer to his stepdaughter, Beverly Zerkel.    Her husband Jim is a former B-25 pilot who served under Hoover.

After bombing his target, he flew to a safe landing zone in China, but ran out of fuel and was forced to land in a rice paddy.  With the help of locals, he was able to avoid Japanese patrols.  A young English-speaking engineer, Tung-Sheng Lin helped lead Hoover to safety.  Lin and Hoover reunited in 1948 and remained friends for the rest of their lives.

Hoover died in 2008.  In 2009, Lin was named an honorary Doolittle Raider.


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