Lt. Col. Robert Hite, USAF (Ret.) one of the last surviving Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, died at his home in Nashville, Tenn., on March 29. He was 95.
Hite was the co-pilot on plane sixteen, dubbed "Bat Out of Hell," during the top secret April 18, 1942, mission to bomb Japan. The raid, led by Gen. (then colonel) Jimmy Doolittle, had little impact on the Japanese military, but significantly boosted American morale during World War II.
Hite was captured by the Japanese in China following the raid and was imprisoned in Shanghai for forty months, during which time he was held in solitary confinement, tortured, and starved until liberated on Aug. 20, 1945. He remained on active duty until Sept. 30, 1951.
During the Korean War, Hite once again returned to active duty and served overseas before he was released from duty for the second time in November 1955.
He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart with one Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Chinese Breast Order of Pao Ting. Hite. Along with the other seventy-nine Doolittle Raiders, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, which will be presented on April 15.
Only two Doolittle Raiders are still living. They are: retired Lt. Col. Richard Cole, co-pilot of crew one, and retired SSgt. David Thatcher, engineer-gunner of crew number seven.
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|Title Annotation:||Robert Hite|
|Publication:||Air Power History|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2015|
|Next Article:||New history mystery.|