2Lt Robert L Hale

2Lt Robert L Hale

Birth
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 24 Oct 1943 (aged 27)
Memorial Site* Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

Plot Tablets of the Missing--Remains recovered
Memorial ID 56760719 · View Source
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He was the son of Ralph and Sadie Smith Hale. He was one of ten children born to Ralph and Sadie. His siblings included; Shirley, Lucy, Pemberton, Paul, Ralph Jr, Barbara, Elizabeth, and Edward. He attended Natick High School and had a reputation of being a star athlete. He played football, baseball, and basketball. After high school, he attended Cushing Academy, then later Holy Cross College and his love for sports followed.

He enlisted on 13 March, 1942 for the US Army Air Corps in Boston, Massachusetts as a Private. After his initial basic training, he volunteered to be a pilot and after completion of advance flight training, he commissioned as an officer in January 1943 as a pilot. He was assigned to the 8th Bomber Squadron, 3rd Bomber Group, which was part of the 5th USAAF operating in the South Pacific.

According to casualty reports from 3rd Bomb Group, on 24 October, 1943, a B-25D-1 Mitchell bomber crewed by these airmen departed Oro Bay Airfield in New Guinea on a bombing run of enemy targets in Rabaul. As the aircraft neared its target, it was attacked by Japanese fighter aircraft. Crewmen from other aircraft said they saw the B-25 crash near a plantation at Kabanga Point. There were no survivors.

Killed in the crash were 1LT Robert H. Miller, of Providence, Rhode Island; 2LT Robert L. Hale, of Newtonville, Massachusetts; SSG Joseph A. Berube, of Fall River, Massachusetts; SSG Glendon E. Harris, of North Monmouth, Maine

2LT Hale was listed as missing in action-presumably killed in action on 24 Oct 1943. His name appears on the Tablets of the Missing located at the Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines. He received the Air Medal and the Purple Heart Medal posthumously.

2LT Hale's remains were recovered in 1946 and 1947 by Australian War Graves search teams, whom recovered some of the crew's remains from the crash site. Identifications were not possible at the time and the remains were ultimately buried at the Manila American Military Cemetery in the Philippines.

From 1999-2000, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) led a joint U.S. and Papua New Guinea (P.N.G.) investigation and excavation of a WWII-era crash site in East New Britain Province. One joint team interviewed individuals having information on the crash, including an eyewitness who said he saw the B-25 crash near his village. Another individual found and buried human remains at the crash site in the mid 1990s. The team surveyed the site and found aircraft wreckage, human remains and personal effects. A second joint team excavated the site and recovered additional human remains and crew-related artifacts from the wreckage field.

In 2004, an anthropologist from JPAC's Central Identification Laboratory (CIL) exhumed the graves at the Manila American Military Cemetery where he recovered the remains buried there in the 1940s.

Among dental records, other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains.

2LT Hale's remains were returned to his family. He was buried in Rowley Burial Ground Cemetery, Rowley, Massachusetts. He was the son of Ralph and Sadie Smith Hale. He was one of ten children born to Ralph and Sadie. His siblings included; Shirley, Lucy, Pemberton, Paul, Ralph Jr, Barbara, Elizabeth, and Edward. He attended Natick High School and had a reputation of being a star athlete. He played football, baseball, and basketball. After high school, he attended Cushing Academy, then later Holy Cross College and his love for sports followed.

He enlisted on 13 March, 1942 for the US Army Air Corps in Boston, Massachusetts as a Private. After his initial basic training, he volunteered to be a pilot and after completion of advance flight training, he commissioned as an officer in January 1943 as a pilot. He was assigned to the 8th Bomber Squadron, 3rd Bomber Group, which was part of the 5th USAAF operating in the South Pacific.

According to casualty reports from 3rd Bomb Group, on 24 October, 1943, a B-25D-1 Mitchell bomber crewed by these airmen departed Oro Bay Airfield in New Guinea on a bombing run of enemy targets in Rabaul. As the aircraft neared its target, it was attacked by Japanese fighter aircraft. Crewmen from other aircraft said they saw the B-25 crash near a plantation at Kabanga Point. There were no survivors.

Killed in the crash were 1LT Robert H. Miller, of Providence, Rhode Island; 2LT Robert L. Hale, of Newtonville, Massachusetts; SSG Joseph A. Berube, of Fall River, Massachusetts; SSG Glendon E. Harris, of North Monmouth, Maine

2LT Hale was listed as missing in action-presumably killed in action on 24 Oct 1943. His name appears on the Tablets of the Missing located at the Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines. He received the Air Medal and the Purple Heart Medal posthumously.

2LT Hale's remains were recovered in 1946 and 1947 by Australian War Graves search teams, whom recovered some of the crew's remains from the crash site. Identifications were not possible at the time and the remains were ultimately buried at the Manila American Military Cemetery in the Philippines.

From 1999-2000, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) led a joint U.S. and Papua New Guinea (P.N.G.) investigation and excavation of a WWII-era crash site in East New Britain Province. One joint team interviewed individuals having information on the crash, including an eyewitness who said he saw the B-25 crash near his village. Another individual found and buried human remains at the crash site in the mid 1990s. The team surveyed the site and found aircraft wreckage, human remains and personal effects. A second joint team excavated the site and recovered additional human remains and crew-related artifacts from the wreckage field.

In 2004, an anthropologist from JPAC's Central Identification Laboratory (CIL) exhumed the graves at the Manila American Military Cemetery where he recovered the remains buried there in the 1940s.

Among dental records, other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains.

2LT Hale's remains were returned to his family. He was buried in Rowley Burial Ground Cemetery, Rowley, Massachusetts.

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Massachusetts.

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56760719
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 2Lt Robert L Hale (11 Dec 1915–24 Oct 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56760719, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by War Graves (contributor 6) .