Edwin Weston Horton Jr., 6139178, Master Sergeant
Gunner Crew 10
Graduated from High School in 1934 and entered service on September 30, 1935 at Providence, Rhode Island. Served overseas with Field Artillery as Schofield Barracks, Hawaii from 1935 to 1938 before re-enlisting and serving with the 95th Bomb Squadron at March Field, California. Completed Gun Turret-Maintenance School, Aircraft Armorer and Aircraft Mechanics Schools. Remained in China-Burma-India Theater after Tokyo Raid until July, 1943. Held various Stateside assignments in Oklahoma and Florida. Served overseas at Wheelus Field, Tripoli, Libya and retired from the service in 1960. Decorations include Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Chinese Army, Navy, and Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.
Born March 28, 1916, North Eastham, Massachusetts
Died November 26th, 2008, Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
Todd Joyce and Ed Horton - 2008
Ed Horton and Wes Fields - 2008
Ed Horton and his wonderful companion Jackie - 2008
Ed Horton and Davy Jones - 2008
Bobby Hite and Ed Horton 2008
Above images of Ed Horton in San Antonio, TX - 2007
Dear Mr. Joyce,
I am Christie Dolan, Ed's grand daughter. (Karen's youngest daughter) I wanted to take a moment to thank you for honoring my Pepa; he, like your father and many others, was a wonderful soul. Growing up, I never thought much about the history that surrounded the man. To me, he was Pepa, a wonderfully kind man who loved to work in his shop making anything that came to mind. My sister and I would spend our summers with Mema (Monta) and him in Ft. Walton. He taught me so many things; how to hammer and build things with scrap wood, some nails, and my imagination. He made me take sailing lessons one summer, and as the summer ended, I was thankful for the experience. Pepa would take me to the Yacht Club every day, sometimes twice a day, where we'd go swimming and end the day with a Shirley Temple with extra cherries. Deep inside my memory, I remember going to the Climatic Lab at Eglin, where my sister and I donned heavy jackets, and Pepa made it snow! That was the first time I saw snow, that stuck! We had a blast making snowballs in the summer. My mind is flooded with so many memories, but none more precious than the day my son JJ and Pepa were introduced. What a heart warming gift from God. I'm truly thankful that over the past two and a half years my son was able to bond with and get to know his great grandfather, of whom he affectionately refers to as "My Superhero". I know that Pepa will keep watch over JJ and the rest of us. I have attached some photos in hopes you may post them on his page. Through tears I must close now, but again, I thank you for what you do to honor these great men.
Thank you, and God Bless,
The following pictures were submitted by Christie Dolan
Ed Horton and Dick Cole - Homecoming, Ft. Walton FL, 2008
Ed Horton and Dick Cole - Homecoming, Ft. Walton FL, 2008
Ed says goodbye to Horace E. "Sally" Crouch, fellow crewmember from my fathers plane. Ed would be the last surviving member of Crew 10. 2006 - Dayton OH.
A 'Doolittle Raider' at weekend events in Peachtree City
Published 10/13/07 in The Times-Herald
BY MEGAN ALMON
As the first notes of the National Anthem sounded in Friday's crisp morning air, Ed Horton's frail, 91-year-old frame seemed to take on a couple of inches in height that age had stolen from him.
His blue eyes reflected the achingly blue sky — a perfect fall day, the start to a perfect weekend for the 2007 Great Georgia Air Show at Peachtree City's Falcon Field.
Horton was one of several World War II veterans present for Friday's media day.
At only 20 years of age, Horton, an engineer gunner on a B-25, took off from a carrier just off the coast of Japan to become one of what history calls "the Doolittle Raiders."
On the heels of Pearl Harbor in 1942, American pilots volunteered for what was, to them, a secret mission. They would become the first to take off from an ocean carrier. Their mission, immortalized in the popular "30 Seconds Over Tokyo," involved a quick arrival at their target followed by a long flight to — hopefully — reach the coast of China.
Horton remembered being on the plane more than 14 hours. By the time they arrived over China, the weather had taken a turn. He bailed out in the dark, in the rain, and slept where he landed. He discovered the next morning he'd landed on top of a mountain range in China.
"I could see the Chinese people going to work," he said.
Horton made his way down the mountain and was discovered by two school teachers. He was later transported to a town with some English missionaries. He remained in China, assigned to a squadron that was activated there, for a year-and-a-half.
Horton is one of 12 of the original raiders still surviving.
Horton and other veterans shared their stories at Friday's event, including Bob Powell, a trained pilot who, at age 20, received a 30-minute crash course on flying the P-51 Mustang before taking off in one for a mission.
The 10th Annual Great Georgia Air Show (GGAS) is the largest military flying demonstration in the state this year, thanks to participation from the United States Air Force. The show, produced by the Kiwanis Club of Peachtree City and the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing, will take place today and Sunday.
This year stands out as the Air Force celebrates its 60th anniversary as a separate military service — it was established Sept. 18, 1947. The GGAS is the culmination of a series of events commemorating Air Force Week Atlanta, which was kicked off at the Georgia State Capitol building when Gov. Sonny Perdue welcomed the "Heritage to Horizons" Air Force theme celebration to Georgia.
Atlanta is one of six cities throughout the U.S. to host an Air Force Week. Others include St. Louis, Sacramento, Phoenix, Honolulu and New England.
In the spirit of the "Heritage to Horizons" theme, the CAF Dixie Wing is showcasing its growing collection of vintage World War II and Korean War-era aircraft. The organization, based at Falcon Field in Peachtree City, is the Georgia Chapter of the CAF, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and flying vintage American military aircraft.
Rides for purchase will be available on the Dixie Wing's planes throughout the weekend, including a P-51 Mustang — one of the best fighters of its day.
"2007 is an exciting milestone for aviation in Georgia," said Jerry Cobb, GGAS Airshow Director and retired Air Force veteran. "Not only is the Air Force celebrating its 60th birthday, but it has been 100 years since the first powered flight occurred in the state. The Commemorative Air Force was also founded 50 years ago this year, while the CAF Dixie Wing was chartered 20 years ago, in 1987."
Scott Slade of WSB Talk Radio will serve as the air show announcer for the 10th consecutive year.
Proceeds from the GGAS and Gala benefit local nonprofit organizations, including school groups and scouting, through the Kiwanis Club of Peachtree City.
Tickets for the show are available at the gate — $18 for adults; $7 for children ages 6-12. Children under 5 get in free.
Gates open at 9 a.m., with aerial performances from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. To better ensure safety, no coolers, backpacks or pets will be allowed.
For more information, visit www.thegreatgeorgiaairshow.com or contact 770-632-0365.
Doolittle Raider Ed Horton Jr. dies at 92
November 29, 2008 07:15:00 AM
By KELLI HERNANDEZ / Florida Freedom Newspapers
FORT WALTON BEACH — The United States lost a World War II hero and Okaloosa County lost an icon Wednesday.
Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Ed Horton Jr., who flew with the famed Doolittle Raiders, died at the age of 92.
The Raiders were the first Americans to bomb Japan during the war. The 80 crew members were credited with boosting American morale in what would become a hard-fought journey toward victory in August 1945.
With Horton's death and the death of retired Maj. Gen. Davy Jones one day earlier, the number of surviving Raiders is down to nine.
In the months before the Doolittle Raid, the crews of the 17th Bombardment Group performed their top secret training at then Eglin Field near what is now State Road 285 in Walton County. They revved their bombers and raced down the airstrip to try to take off before reaching a rope 300 feet away to simulate the short takeoff distance on an aircraft carrier.
Despite the prominence that followed Horton throughout his life in the wake of the famous raid, he was a very modest man, said Wes Fields, a friend and security director for the Doolittle Raiders.
"He's famous because he's a Doolittle Raider, but he never strutted his stuff," Fields said. "I've taken him all over the world for events for the last eight years. He never wanted to put anybody out. He was the nicest man I've ever known."
Horton had lived in Okaloosa County since 1947. He was part of the first group of active-duty personnel to operate the Climatic Lab at Eglin Field. After retiring from the Air Force as a master sergeant in 1960 after 25 years of service, he joined the civil service and worked another 20 years at the Climatic Lab.
Horton appeared regularly at military functions and was featured in a PBS documentary about World War II veterans from Northwest Florida.
The movie "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" was made about the Doolittle Raiders in 1944.
Horton's final public event was the Doolittle Raiders Homecoming at Eglin Air Force Base in May, Fields said.
"When I took him on military events, he loved to talk to the young airmen," Fields said. "He always encouraged them to stay in the service and that it was a good career."
Out of the spotlight, Horton was a family man. He was a member of the Fort Walton Yacht Club and St. Simon's Episcopal Church.
"He will be remembered very greatly," his daughter Karen Howell said. "He was a wonderful, wonderful Daddy and will be greatly missed in the community by me and everybody else."
Howell described her father as humble, loving and charming.
"He will probably be remembered most for his kindness," said Karen's husband, L.B Howell. "He was a very colorful gentleman at times. He would not dote on his experiences as a warrior, though he was very proud of the association he had with his fellow airmen."
L.B. Howell said the Doolittle Raiders were a very tight-knit group and that his father-in-law had said they "meant everything to him".
Horton also was fortunate to have been able to get to know his great-grandson, J.J., who L.B. Howell said was "the apple of his eye."
Horton joined the Army in 1935 before the Air Force became a separate service and volunteered for the secret Japan raid as a 21-year-old staff sergeant. He served as an engineer-gunner on the mission.
The raid took place April 18, 1942. Each of the 16 bombers carried four 500-pound bombs on the longest combat mission ever flown by Mitchell B-25s and the only operation that Army Air Force bombers launched from a Navy aircraft carrier, according to a previous Daily News article.
After a Japanese boat spotted the USS Hornet, the planes were forced to take off one day earlier and 200 miles farther out at sea than planned on what quickly became a "one-way mission," Fields said. After the raid, the crews had to bail out in the dark over hostile territory in a rain storm in China.
When Horton was ordered to bail out, his response was simply, "Well thanks for the swell ride".
Every member of Horton's crew survived.
Horton and others continued war efforts in China for a year and a half before he was assigned to the Orlando area, where he met his wife of 63 years, Monta.
In hopes of honoring the Doolittle Raiders, Okaloosa County Commissioner John Janazzo is working to have SR 285 near the training site renamed after the group.
"I think when you talk about Ed Horton, you have to talk about the then and the now," Jannazo said. "Then he was a young man who volunteered, raised his hand to go on a potential and what could have been a suicide mission without any reservation. And he did it because it was the right thing to do. It is one amazing story amongst a million amazing stories."
As a teacher at Choctawhatchee High School, Jannazo said he was honored to have Horton speak to his classes.
"Now he comes back and lives here and provides an opportunity for several generations - not just my generation, but the generation behind me - to learn what kind of heroes it took to win World War II," Jannazo said. "In all my days of teaching, there was not a better day than when we had Ed Horton sitting under the wing of a B-25 and students sitting under the wing with him. So, you are talking about a legacy that goes from the event and spans almost 70 years."
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Dec. 13 at St. Simon's Episcopal Church in Fort Walton Beach. Burial with an honor guard will follow at Beal Memorial Cemetery.
Retired Lt. Col. Richard Cole, commander Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle's co-pilot, is expected to attend.
Final salute for FWB's Ed Horton Jr. (with VIDEO, PHOTOS)
The Doolittle Raider died Nov. 26 from injuries suffered in an auto accidentDecember 13, 2008 - 4:34 PM
Andrew GantDaily News - http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/horton_13498___article.html/doolittle_raiders.html
FORT WALTON BEACH - When 26-year-old gunner Ed Horton Jr. got the order to bail out of his B-25 bomber over China after the Doolittle Raid, he answered simply:
"Well, thanks for the swell ride."
On Saturday, the retired master sergeant's seat was empty at St. Simon's on the Sound Episcopal Church as 200 people gathered for his memorial service.
Fort Walton Beach's revered hero from the famous World War II raid was 92 years old, but he hardly slowed down in old age. As his close friend and Doolittle Raiders security director Wes Fields said, "How many 92-year-olds do you know with an active U.S. passport?"
Friends and family remembered Horton as a woodworker and a world traveler who kept active with his fellow Raiders - few of whom are still living.
Even at 92, Horton still woke each morning for 5 a.m. laps at the Fort Walton Beach YMCA pool, said the Rev. Betsy Powell, who delivered the homily at his service.
Horton was headed for one of those swims in late September when his car hit the rear of another vehicle at the intersection of Racetrack Road and Denton Boulevard.
He died from his injuries Nov. 26, a day after a fellow Doolittle Raider, retired Maj. Gen. Davy Jones, passed away in Tucson, Ariz.
Of the 80 Doolittle Raiders, only nine are still alive.
Three F-15s and a B-1 Lancer flew over Beal Memorial Cemetery after a service there. Horton's great-grandson, J.J. Dolan, was presented with Horton's flag.
At the church, pink wooden flamingos Horton had made stood in the hall.
His shop and tools were open to friends and neighbors, and Horton always was willing to help build something - provided someone else would sweep up the sawdust. The floor had to be clean enough to pass military muster.
However, he was ever humble about his military legend with the Raiders.
The Doolittle mission required 16 B-25s, each carrying four 500-pound bombs, to launch off an aircraft carrier in enemy waters 500 miles off the coast of Japan. The idea seemed impossible to many; B-25 pilots were accustomed to 5,000-foot runways.
Crews practiced short takeoffs in secret at an airstrip at then Eglin Field, unaware of the nature of their secret mission until just before it was launched.
On April 18, 1942, after more than two weeks at sea, all 16 bombers took off successfully - 10 hours early and more than 100 miles farther away than initially planned - after a Japanese boat spotted their carrier.
The airmen dropped bombs on Tokyo and other Japanese targets before most of them crashed or bailed out. Two crews went missing - some died before they were captured, others were executed and one starved.
Horton's crew was lucky. The fliers reached the safety of a Chinese mountain village.
"Everybody in the group knew Ed, and everybody liked him very much," said retired Lt. Col. Dick Cole, one of the last surviving Raiders.
Wes Fields gives a final Salute to his good friend Ed Horton
Catherine Casey, Bernie, Ed's son-in-law, Dick Cole, Wes Fields and others at Ed's funeral
B-1 Bomber fly-over at graveside services
There were also 4 F-15's that flew over in "missing Man" formation...