Robert L. Hite, 0-417960, Lieutenant Colonel
Graduated from High School in 1937; Completed three years of college and enlisted as an Aviation Cadet on September 9, 1940 at Lubbock, Texas. Commissioned as Second Lieutenant and rated as pilot on May 29, 1941. Was captured after Tokyo Raid and imprisoned by the Japanese for forty months. Liberated by American troops on August 20, 1945, he remained on active duty until September 30, 1947. Returned to active duty during Korean War on March 9, 1951 and served overseas before relief from active duty again in November, 1955. Decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, and Chinese Breast Order of Pao Ting.
Born March 3, 1920, Odell, Texas
Inducted Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, Galveston, TX
Lieutenants Hite and Barr and Cpl. DeShazer were held as POWs until liberated on August 20, 1945 at the war's end.
Lt. Hite blindfolded by his captors is led from a Japanese transport plane after he and the other seven flyers were flown from Shanghai to Tokyo. After about 45 days in Japan, all eight were taken back to China by ship and imprisoned in Shanghai.
Japanese P.O.W. 3 and 1/2 years
Robert Hite, 72, of Camden, AR., saw his weight drop to 80 pounds during his stay in the Japanese prison. He was bitten by bugs, rats and lice, suffered starvation and had water poured down his nose.
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