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Honoring a Doolittle Raider

Posted 10/28/2009   Updated 10/29/2009 Email story   Print story

    

10/28/2009 - Airman Josh Mills, a 714th Training Squadron student; Col. Kirk Lear, 314th Airlift Wing vice commander; Maj. Dennis Higuera, 314th Maintenance Operations Squadron commander; and Maj. Jason Shephard, 48th Airlift Squadron chief of training; represented Little Rock Air Force Base in Camden, Ark., Oct. 17 at the unveiling of a plaque honoring a Doolittle Raider, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Hite. Then-Capt. Hite was co-pilot of a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber nicknamed "Bat Out of Hell," the last of 16 aircraft launched from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on April 18, 1945, in the United States' first direct attack on the Japanese islands. All 16 aircraft from that mission crash-landed or ditched at sea after the attack, and 11 of 80 crewmembers were lost; many others, including Colonel Hite, were captured. Colonel Hite endured torture and lost half his body weight before being repatriated after 40 months in captivity. He went on to serve in the Korean War and is one of just six living members of the original 80 Doolittle Raiders. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Adam Hallmark)



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