Jacob Earl Manch – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force

Courtesy of Russell C. Jacobs: January 2006

JACOB EARL “SHORTY” MANCH, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force

December 26, 1918-March 24, 1958.
Staunton, Virginia.

Jacob Earl Manch was appointed Second Lieutenant, Infantry Reserve, May 10, 1940.  He enlisted as Flying Cadet on February 10, 1941 and graduated from Advanced Flying School, Stockton, California, with rating as Pilot, September, 1941.

He was assigned to 17th Bomb Group at Pendleton Field, Oregon.  He was a member of the Doolittle Raiders who struck the first blow against the Japanese homelands in 1942, and was the Co-Pilot of Crew Three.

He remained in China-India-Burma Theater after Tokyo Raid until June, 1943, and was then assigned to Stateside bases in California, Utah and New Jersey during the rest of the war.

He served in Japan and Korea as Air Liaison Officer with 7th Infantry Division during Korean War, and returned to the United States in September, 1953 and stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Colonel Manuch was killed in aircraft accident near Las Vegas, Nevada on March 24, 1958.

His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldier's Medal and Chinese Army, Navy and Air Corps Medal, Class A. 1st Grade.

In my research for the Raiders,  I received a large number of documents from Mrs. Ellen Lawson the widow of Raider Ted W. Lawson the author of “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo”. Included were copies of newspaper clippings from the Las Vegas papers concerning the crash of Manch's T-33.

For lack of better terms, Manch was a naturally heroic son-of-a-bitch.  When the engines flamed out, he ordered his other crewman to eject and guided his powerless aircraft clear of a residential neighbor that included an elementary school. When he finally ejected his parachute did not have sufficient time to properly operate, and he died when he hit the ground. Today the Jacob E. Manch Elementary School in Las Vegas is named in his honor.



  • DATE OF BIRTH: 12/26/1918
  • DATE OF DEATH: 03/24/1958
  • BURIED: 05/31/1958


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