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SOURCE: Lt. Col. Robert Hite, of 'Doolittle Tokyo Raiders,' dead at 95 | Fox News

Lt. Col. Robert Hite, of 'Doolittle Tokyo Raiders,' dead at 95 Published March 30, 2015FoxNews.com




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Lt. Col. Robert Hite, shown here being led blindfolded by his captors, was held for 40 months.


Lt. Col. Robert Hite, one of the famed World War II "Doolittle Tokyo Raiders," died Sunday at 95.

Wallace Hite said his father died Sunday morning at a nursing facility in Nashville after battling Alzheimer's disease, according to The Associated Press.


"Today he decided to go home and be with his wife," Wallace Hite said.

Hite was among 80 men aboard 16 B-25 bombers whose mission was to strike Japan in April 1942. While the attack inflicted only scattered damage, it was credited with boosting American morale while shaking Japan's confidence and prompting strategy shifts less than five months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Eight Raiders were captured and three were executed; one more died in captivity and three others were killed after crash-landing or ditching at sea. Hite was among the Japanese captives and was imprisoned for 40 months.

"I think he would want two things: that's the attitude we ought to have about our country; and the second is, he was just doing his job."
- Wallace Hite

He was liberated by American troops in 1945. In 1951, he returned to active duty during the Korean War and served overseas before relief from active duty in 1955.

Wallace Hite said his father would want to be remembered for his patriotism, and for others to share the same sentiment.

"I think he would want two things: that's the attitude we ought to have about our country; and the second is, he was just doing his job," he said.

Hite's passing leaves two other surviving Raiders: retired Lt. Col. Richard "Dick" Cole and Staff Sgt. David Thatcher.

The Raiders will be honored with the Congressional Gold Medal on April 15 in Washington, then present it on April 18 -- the 73rd anniversary of the raid -- to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The gold medal will go on display at the museum near Dayton, joining an exhibit depicting the launch from an aircraft carrier of the Raiders' 1942 attack.
 

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Rest In Peace Sir.

My Grandfather was a bomber pilot in WW2 over Europe, later served as a Paratrooper in Korea. RCAF. I've got a lot of respect and admiration for all veterans and current service members, my thoughts and prayers are with his family.
 

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I think the remaining survivors decided two years ago to quit having their annual meetings, I can't remember if there were 4 or 5 left when they made that decision. I guess I have read about their annual reunions and toasts to those who had passed since the last one, ever since I was a teen. They had a special case with the glasses of those remaining to do the toasts. I really wish they had not been spotted early so that all would have had the fuel to have made it to safety. We had a lot of heroes in that war, and certainly none any more heroic than the Doolittle Raiders.

The patriotism of our entire country during that time is something I have longed for, for a long time.
 

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saluting vet.gif

Gone, but not forgotten!
 
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The Greatest Generation is nearly gone now, and we are the less for their passing.
 

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And they took off from Shangra-La, no less.* *According to President Roosevelt in a news conference, who was trying to hide that it was a carrier borne airstrike.
 

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Amazing group of people that gave us a lot to live up to!
 
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RIP. You will be missed.
 
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Amazing group of people that gave us a lot to live up to!
Rod, both of our countries had a tremendous number of people who gave us a lot to live up to and look up to. From North Africa to Normandy, Sicily, Italy, The shores of Pacific Islands, Malaysia, Burma, China, All of Europe and in the skies above them all. Every person who put on a uniform was a hero to defeat great evils and those who were in civilian jobs back at home all made great sacrifices.

Today, we are facing evil as much as then, as much evil as this earth has ever known and mankind will once again be tested to see how many heros there are and how many great leaders there are. For sure, we will have to go back to the rules of war used in WWII.

I hope mankind will rise to the test again, but I have my doubts.
 

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Another of America's best passes on. Thank you for your service, and God bless.
 

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My dad, who's 94, believes he saw the Doolittle planes leave port on a carrier early in the war. He was in the Navy. It was all very hush hush back then, of course.

Sorry to hear about this hero's passing.
 
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