ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Julian A. Achten


Watertown Daily Times, 06 11 1943


One part of the exciting story dealing with the role which Julian Achten, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Achten, route 6, has played in this war has never been told.  And that is how his wife discovered that he had been saved and was alive after he had been reported missing.


Achten, by the way, has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant, junior grade.  He is a naval flier and his thrilling exploits with the Japanese during the early stages of the war in the Pacific were told in an article which appeared in the Daily Times months ago.


Lieut. Achten was credited with shooting down several Japanese Zero planes and damaging several others.  He himself was wounded and was lost at sea, but was later picked up and brought to a hospital.  His wife, sitting In a California motion picture theater, saw a news reel which showed him being brought aboard a ship.  In that way she learned he was alive.  It was an experience such as comes to few war wives and her joy at learning of her husband's safety can hardly be told.


After Lieut. Achten's recovery he returned to this country for further hospital treatment and was reunited with his wife.  His parents also visited him in California and later when he was able to return to duty, he was assigned to a post as an instructor to teach other American fliers some of the lessons he had learned in coming up against the Japanese.


Lieut. Achten was in the naval service for some years before the war broke out and has had many exciting experiences.


Lt. Achten to Land at Local Airport Today

He Escorted Jimmy Doolittle's Group in Tokyo Flight

Watertown Daily Times, 12 20 1944


Lt. J. A. Achten, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Achten, west of the city, is scheduled to arrive at the Watertown airport this afternoon by plane from Green Coves Springs, Fla., with his wife and six-month old daughter.


His parents received a telegram from him from Nashville, Tenn., last night. He and his family spent the night at Nashville.


The airport is located one mile from the Achten farm.


Lt. Achten entered the service before this country declared war on Japan and Germany. He has participated in many of the big air battles of the Pacific.  The plane he was piloting was shot down by a Jap pilot, but only after he had given the Japs plenty of punishment.  He had been attached to the Enterprise airplane carrier.  He was one of the escort pilots to accompany Jimmy Doolittle and his airmen on the famous flight over Tokyo.  The group of escort planes accompanied the raiders almost to the Jap mainland.


When this country entered the war, Achten was attached to the Lexington, another aircraft carrier.


Now Lt. Achten is engaged in the instruction of pilots who are about to go into combat.  He teaches combat tactics.  He has been on the instruction assignment for nearly two years.


Pilot Who Played Part in Doolittle's Tokyo Raid Is Visiting Parents Here


Watertown Daily Times, 12 26 1944


A pilot who had a hand in Jimmy Doolittle's historic raid on Tokyo is spending the Christmas holidays in Watertown.  He is Lt. (s.g.) Julian A. Achten, 29, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Achten of route B.  With him are his wife and six months old daughter.  The three flew up to Watertown from Jacksonville, Fla., in a Taylorcraft plane, piloted by the lieutenant. They arrived last Wednesday.



The fighter pilot's 1,000 mile trip to his home, the first in three years, was uneventful until he was about to land.  He was unable to locate Watertown's airport, two miles west of highway 19, on county trunk Q and finally had to make a forced landing in a field on highway 19, two miles west of the city.  The ship came to a stop in a hayfield.  He was looking for the port along the highway, having forgotten that it was two miles south of the road.  The three left Jacksonville last Tuesday, spent the night at Nashville, Tenn., and arrived here about 4 o'clock last Wednesday afternoon.


Now an Instructor


For nearly two years Lt. Achten has been doing instructional work near Green Coves Springs, Fla.  He was given this assignment after he completed a tour of duty in the Pacific, which included participation in many big air and naval battles, as well as a part in the raid on Tokyo.  At the present time he is in charge of a group of veteran pilots whose job it is to give final combat instruction to fliers about to go into action.  Before he was placed in charge of the squadron, Lt. Achten was actively engaged in imparting his experiences to the men who are about to engage the enemy.


On Enterprise


Lt. Achten, in discussing his experiences with a Daily Times reporter late last week, was modest about his exploits in the Pacific, and did not reveal too much information about the part he played in the now historic raid on Tokyo by Jimmy Doolittle and his fliers.  Lt. Achten was attached to the Enterprise, and at the time was on patrol duty.  Doolittle and his planes were stationed on the Hornet.  Achten and the other patrol pilots flew ahead of the surface craft to be on the lookout for Jap planes, or enemy ships.  Achten and other patrol pilots spotted Japanese fishing boats, which it was believed carried radio equipment.  The information was flashed to the Doolittle party, with the result that Doolittle and his men started their flight before schedule.  They had planned to move in closer to the Jap mainland before taking off but information on the Jap fishing boats made it necessary to change their plans.


Lt. Achten has participated in many battles, including the battle at Midway. He also took part in fighting in the Solomons area.  It was in an air battle with the Japanese in this area that he was shot down by a Jap plane.  He and three other pilots spotted 25 bombers.  "We jumped them and a few minutes later became aware that 16 Zeros were nearby," Lt. Achten relates.  "The other three planes making the attack were able to get into a rain squall, but I was on the wrong side of the bombers, and could not get any protection."  Six Zeros concentrated on Achten's ship, shooting it up pretty badly.  He managed to make a landing in the sea, near Tulagi, where Marines were being landed by Higgin's boats.  He brought the ship down near the boats, and soon after coming down was picked up.  He injured his neck in the landing, which later made it necessary for him to be hospitalized, He was transferred to a transport, and a total of 11 days after he was shot down, he was back on the Enterprise.


The action in which his plane was shot down occurred on Aug. 7, 1942.  He returned to the States on Nov. 21, 1942. He was confined to a hospital in California for five weeks. Early in 1943 he again was ready for duty, and at that time was assigned to the instructional work in Florida.


He has to his credit three Jap planes, and one probable plane.  He wears the Distinguished Flying Cross, which he received for "courageous perseverance and devotion to duty," in the battle of Midway.  Other awards include the Presidential Unit citation, the American Defense Medal, and an award which indicates participation in five major engagements in the Asiatic-Pacific theatre.


Started at Bottom


Lt. Achten began his naval career 10 years ago at the very bottom of the ladder.  He started out in September 13, 1934 as an apprentice seaman.  Later he transferred to the air branch.  He received his training at Pensacola, Fla., where he was awarded his wings in November of 1941.  He was advanced to the rank of lieutenant, senior grade, in July of this year.


His training in the navy has given him a well rounded knowledge of all phrases of aviation.  He not only has a wide flying experience, but he also understands the mechanics of a plane.


His first assignment after he received his wings was the Lexington aircraft carrier.  Later he became attached to the Enterprise.  When he became attached to the Lexington the carrier had aboard the only fighting squadron in the world composed of enlisted pilots.


Lt. Achten's family has lived on a farm west of the city for the last seven years.  Previously they lived on a farm at the outskirts of Oconomowoc.


Lt. Achten must leave for his return flight to Jacksonville on Jan 28.  He expects to again be assigned to sea duty sometime early next year.


Lt. Achten Taking Another Crack at Japs

Watertown Daily Times, 06 18 1945


Lt. (s.g.) Julian A. Achten, Watertown flier who had a part in the historic Doolittle raid on Tokyo, is back taking a crack at the Japs after having spent the past two and a half years as an instructor at a field near Green Coves Spring, Fla. 


He is now stationed on an aircraft carrier, and has charge of a group of fliers on the ship.  He has been at sea for the past five weeks. His wife and daughter, who lived with him at Florida, now are residing with her parents at San Diego, Calif.


Lt. Achten and his wife and child spent the Christmas holidays at the Achten home here.  The three flew to Watertown from Florida in a Taylorcraft plane.


Lt. Achten wears the Distinguished Flying Cross for "courageous perseverance and devotion to duty" in the battle of Midway, in addition to other awards. He has three Jap planes to his credit, with one "probable."


While home, he was a guest at a Rotary club luncheon, where he told about the part he played in the Tokyo raid, and mentioned some of his other combat experiences in the Pacific.


Watertown Daily Times, 25 September 1945

Lt. (s.g.) Julian Achten, Watertown flier who took part In the historic Doolittle raid on Tokyo, is now in Japan, or at least based in that immediate vicinity with the carrier Lexington.   He served on the original Lexington which was a war casualty and is one of the few men of that carrier to be on the new ship named after the first one.  He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Achten, who reside on a farm west of Watertown


Lt. Achten is Awarded, Medal

Watertown Flier Was Engaged in Strikes at Japan


Watertown Daily Times, 17 October 1945


Lt. Julian A. Achten, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Achten of route 6, recently was awarded the Air Medal for flying his Corsair on strikes against the Japs with Bomber Fighting Squadron 94, now based on the carrier USS Lexington. Presentation of the medal was made by Capt. T. H. Robbins, Jr.


Lt. Achten is a veteran of the Battle of Midway. He was attached to the old Lexington until it was sunk in the Battle of the Coral Sea.  He was one of the fliers headed for Tokyo when news of the Jap surrender came.


The Watertown flier was a member of the group of fliers who had a hand in the famous Doolittle raid on Tokyo.


His wife and child now are living at 3946 Idaho Street, San Diego, Calif.