Lt. Robert L. Hite carried by Japanese captors

Robert L. Hite

U.S. Army Air Force Lieutenant Robert L. Hite is carried from a Japanese transport plane after he was flown from China to Tokyo along with seven other captured US airmen.

Lt. Robert L. Hite was co-pilot of crew 16 (B-25B s/n 40-2268 Bat out of Hell, 34th Bomb Squadron) of the “Doolittle Raiders”. The raid led by Colonel Doolittle only inflicted relatively light damage on Japanese military and industrial targets, but it helped American morale after the Pearl Harbor attack.

After about 45 days in Japan, all eight prisoners were taken back to China and imprisoned in Shanghai. One of them died in captivity and three were executed on October 15th 1942. The four others, including Robert Hite, were liberated on 20 August 1945, after 40 months in captivity.

Hite was the last survivor of the eight airmen, passing away in March 2015, aged 95, due to heart failure.

Book suggestion ⤵️

📖 The Doolittle Raid: America’s Daring First Strike Against Japan (Carroll V. Glines, 1988)

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