J. Royden Stork, 0-421345, Captain
Co-Pilot Crew 10

Graduated from San Diego High School, San Diego, California, 1935.  Attended San Diego State College for 2-1/2 Years.  Entered military service on November 25, 1940.  Graduated from Advanced Flying Training, April, 1941.  Remained in India after Tokyo Raid for 16 months as a pilot of a B-24.  After return to the States, was assigned to Foreign Equipment Evaluation duties and then as pilot ferrying aircraft for Air Transport Command.  Released from active duty in January, 1946.  Employed as make-up artist in Hollywood.  Decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and the Chinese Army, Navy, and Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.

Born December 11, 1916, Frost, Minnesota
Died May 2, 2002, Los Angeles, California, Heart Attack

Cremated

Image courtsey of Ted Briscoe Collection

Image courtsey of Ted Briscoe Collection

Image courtsey of Ted Briscoe Collection

 

     

  

Royden Stork, 85, Co-Pilot in Raid Over Japan

By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN - NY Times 

J. Royden Stork, a flier in the Doolittle raid over Japan that thrilled an American home front reeling from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died on May 2 in Los Angeles, where he lived. He was 85. 

The cause was a heart attack, said his wife, Kay. 

On April 18, 1942, crewmen in 16 Army Air Forces bombers commanded by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle flew from the aircraft carrier Hornet to carry the war to Japan for the first time.  

The low-level, daylight bombing runs by the twin-engine B-25's resulted in relatively light damage to military and industrial targets. But in providing a morale boost at a time of unbridled Japanese conquests, they produced some of the first American heroes of World War II. Colonel Doolittle received the Medal of Honor from President Franklin D. Roosevelt a month later. Americans vicariously experienced the raid's perils in the book and movie ''Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,'' an account by Ted W. Lawson, one of the pilots.  

But it had been far from certain that Colonel Doolittle's bombers, designed for takeoff from land bases, could make it safely off the Hornet's deck, let alone penetrate Japanese air defenses.  

''We were No. 10 to take off, and Doolittle started down the runway, and the next thing I knew he had popped right up in the air,'' Mr. Stork recalled last year in the National Geographic television program ''Pearl Harbor: Legacy of Attack.''  

He added, ''We were all holding our breath and, believe me, doing a Hail Mary, because if he did it, we knew damn well we could do it.''  

That 10th plane, piloted by Lt. Richard O. Joyce with Lieutenant Stork as co-pilot, bombed a steel works and factory complex in Tokyo while encountering Japanese fighters and antiaircraft fire that damaged the rear portion of its fuselage and a wing tip.

The 16 bombers and their 80 airmen were to land in China because the Hornet's decks were too short to accommodate their return. But the planes were buffeted by a storm and ran low on fuel, forcing crash-landings or bailouts beyond the landing strips that killed three airmen.  

All five crewmen in Lieutenant Stork's plane parachuted safely.  

In an interview with The Los Angeles Times soon after the raid, Lieutenant Stork recalling bailing out with candy bars and cigarettes stuffed into his pockets.  

''Those bars were flung in every direction, my parachute gave such a flip,'' he said. ''It was pouring rain, and in no time my chute was soaked with water, and I was falling very fast. I must have been knocked unconscious as I don't remember anything until I found myself lying against a tree. I lay in the rain until morning before starting out.''  

With the help of a Chinese official, Lieutenant Stork made it to a rendezvous point four days later. But eight crewmen from other planes were captured by Japanese forces in China. Three were executed, and another died of malnutrition.  

Mr. Stork, a native of Frost, Minn., later flew in the China-Burma-India theater and was discharged from the military as a captain in 1946. He worked for many years as a makeup artist for Hollywood motion pictures and television productions.  

His wife is his only known immediate survivor.  

''I just consider myself as a lucky guy,'' Mr. Stork said in the National Geographic program. ''There were plenty of fellows I graduated with from flying school that ended up in the major league in England where they'd send out 100 B-17's and they'd get only 30 back. I'm not a hero.''

 

J. Royden Stork, 85, who as co-pilot of a B-25 Mitchell bomber took part in a daring raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942, and later went on to become a Hollywood makeup artist, died May 2 in Los Angeles after a heart attack.

The raid, led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, was the first successful U.S. retaliatory strike after Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor, which brought the United States into World War II. Mr. Stork was co-pilot of the 10th of 16 B-25 bombers to take off from the deck of the USS Hornet -- a feat never before attempted and considered by many a suicide mission for the 80 men aboard. The B-25 was a land-based bomber and was not designed to take off from a carrier.

Flying at treetop level, Mr. Stork's plane bombed its assigned chemical plant and flew on until, like the others, it ran out of gas over occupied China. Mr. Stork parachuted to safety.

Above article found in the Washington Post Newspaper
 

Royden Stork, Doolittle Raid

Excerpted from interviews taken for the National Geographic program, Pearl Harbor: Legacy of Attack, on the National Geographic Channel.

We... had 16 crews that were assigned to the raid. And we had five reserve crews. And, we moved down to Egland Field, and we were operating off of one of the auxiliary fields down there, for all the short take off work. And... that's the way we prepared...we were dragging [planes off] about 550, six hundred feet. And of course this got us to thinking about short take off a carrier - No, that couldn't be. Because...we'd never get a B-25 off the deck of a carrier… But it finally became true...we got on the carrier, and we took off..

... after we headed out the, out of the Golden Gate, and headed toward Japan… we knew ... speculated pretty correct that it was going to be Japan. Especially after Pearl Harbor, and what they did there.

Nothing was definite until the... second day out on the carrier. And ...that's when we started having all our meetings, and then we'd have a drill every day, just like we were going to take off …People have asked, “Well weren't you scared...What's your reaction?” I said well, actually there was no reaction, because we had been processed and drilled so thoroughly of just exactly what to do... the fact of taking off in the morning was to our benefit. Because we didn't have the time to sit around all afternoon and think about it. Most of us were in the mess hall...when we got the notice... we didn't think much about it until we were airborne, and we said, “My God, we did it, we did it.” You know. So, that really helped. For... the matter of fright and everything else, that would set in. But it really worked fine.

...And I think back a lot of times, and the way that B-25 jumped into the air...before they reached the end of the carrier. It was truly amazing. We were number ten to take off, and Doolittle started down the runway, and the next thing I knew, he had popped right up in the air.

Well, we were all... holding our breath, and believe me, doing a Hail Mary, because if he did it, we knew damn well we could do it. And... when he jumped off the carrier like that, I knew... we had it made then, because boy, oh boy….It worked ... it was really something…Boy, was that a good feeling.

...the navigator brought us in right on target, and we pulled up to about 18 hundred feet, squared away on our target...a big chemical factory...

And our assignment was to fly 50 miles back out to sea, and parallel the Japanese mainland, and go south, and at the southern tip of the Japanese mainland, fly west. But... we used quite a bit of extra gas. And, as we turned west across the Yellow Sea, the navigator called in, and said, “I think we're going to have to ditch, about 25 miles off the coast, because, we're getting pretty slim on the gas ... gasoline.” [He] called back about 20 minutes later, and he said, “Good news, we've picked up a 20 mile an hour ... 22 mile an hour tail wind,” and that's the only reason on God's green earth we were able to get our planes in over China... we were lucky, our crew was absolutely lucky, because we got about 70 [miles] inland before we had to bail out, running out of gas... The two crews that were captured only got about ten, 12 miles.
I just consider myself as a lucky guy, that I ... got through it, and I did the best I could. There were plenty of ... fellows I graduated with from flying school that ended up in the major league in England, where ... they'd send out a hundred B-17s, and they'd only get 30 back… I think that those guys are just as much a hero. I mean... we were lucky, because, this one particular raid became a success. And ... no, I'm not a hero. I just did the best I possibly could. And [I was] lucky to get through it...

J. Royden Stork Tokyo Raider
J. Royden Stork, 85, who as co-pilot of a B-25 Mitchell bomber took part in a daring raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942, and later went on to become a Hollywood makeup artist, died May 2 in Los Angeles after a heart attack.

The raid, led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, was the first successful U.S. retaliatory strike after Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor, which brought the United States into World War II. Mr. Stork was co-pilot of the 10th of 16 B-25 bombers to take off from the deck of the USS Hornet -- a feat never before attempted and considered by many a suicide mission for the 80 men aboard. The B-25 was a land-based bomber and was not designed to take off from a carrier.

Flying at treetop level, Mr. Stork's plane bombed its assigned chemical plant and flew on until, like the others, it ran out of gas over occupied China. Mr Stork parachuted to safety.

After the war, he made his career in Hollywood as a makeup artist for Fox Studios. Among his credits were such feature films as the 1949 "Twelve O'Clock High," starring Gregory Peck commanding U.S. pilots in England during the war.

Royden Stork, 85, Co-Pilot in Raid Over Japan
By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN

J. Royden Stork, a flier in the Doolittle raid over Japan that thrilled an American home front reeling from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died on May 2 in Los Angeles, where he lived. He was 85.

The cause was a heart attack, said his wife, Kay.


On April 18, 1942, crewmen in 16 Army Air Forces bombers commanded by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle flew from the aircraft carrier Hornet to carry the war to Japan for the first time.

The low-level, daylight bombing runs by the twin-engine B-25's resulted in relatively light damage to military and industrial targets. But in providing a morale boost at a time of unbridled Japanese conquests, they produced some of the first American heroes of World War II. Colonel Doolittle received the Medal of Honor from President Franklin D. Roosevelt a month later. Americans vicariously experienced the raid's perils in the book and movie ''Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,'' an account by Ted W. Lawson, one of the pilots.

But it had been far from certain that Colonel Doolittle's bombers, designed for takeoff from land bases, could make it safely off the Hornet's deck, let alone penetrate Japanese air defenses.

''We were No. 10 to take off, and Doolittle started down the runway, and the next thing I knew he had popped right up in the air,'' Mr. Stork recalled last year in the National Geographic television program ''Pearl Harbor: Legacy of Attack.''

He added, ''We were all holding our breath and, believe me, doing a Hail Mary, because if he did it, we knew damn well we could do it.''

That 10th plane, piloted by Lt. Richard O. Joyce with Lieutenant Stork as co-pilot, bombed a steel works and factory complex in Tokyo while encountering Japanese fighters and antiaircraft fire that damaged the rear portion of its fuselage and a wing tip.

The 16 bombers and their 80 airmen were to land in China because the Hornet's decks were too short to accommodate their return. But the planes were buffeted by a storm and ran low on fuel, forcing crash-landings or bailouts beyond the landing strips that killed three airmen.

All five crewmen in Lieutenant Stork's plane parachuted safely.

In an interview with The Los Angeles Times soon after the raid, Lieutenant Stork recalling bailing out with candy bars and cigarettes stuffed into his pockets.

''Those bars were flung in every direction, my parachute gave such a flip,'' he said. ''It was pouring rain, and in no time my chute was soaked with water, and I was falling very fast. I must have been knocked unconscious as I don't remember anything until I found myself lying against a tree. I lay in the rain until morning before starting out.''

With the help of a Chinese official, Lieutenant Stork made it to a rendezvous point four days later. But eight crewmen from other planes were captured by Japanese forces in China. Three were executed, and another died of malnutrition.

Mr. Stork, a native of Frost, Minn., later flew in the China-Burma-India theater and was discharged from the military as a captain in 1946. He worked for many years as a makeup artist for Hollywood motion pictures and television productions.

His wife is his only known immediate survivor.

''I just consider myself as a lucky guy,'' Mr. Stork said in the National Geographic program. ''There were plenty of fellows I graduated with from flying school that ended up in the major league in England where they'd send out 100 B-17's and they'd get only 30 back. I'm not a hero.''

 

Hit Counter

All content on this web site and the linked pages are property of Todd Joyce Copyright 1998-2012 and may not be copied, borrowed or duplicated without specific written permission.
If you have anything you would like to contribute to this web site please email me.  This site is best viewed at 1024 x 768 screen resolution.
This site was last updated on Monday, November 04, 2013
Click HERE for revision history.