Oral History of Charles Lewis Hite

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Title

Oral History of Charles Lewis Hite

Alternative Title

Oral History, Hite

Subject

Air Force
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Persian Gulf War, 1991
Veterans--Florida
Operation Desert Storm, 1991

Description

Oral History of Charles Lewis Hite's military service during the Vietnam War (1961-1975) and the Persian Gulf War (1991). Hite was born on March 23, 1947 in Centralia, Illinois. In 1972, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and trained at Blyheville Air Force Base in Blyheville, Arkansas. He served in Thailand during the Vietnam War and then returned back to Blyheville to work as First 2nd LT Radar Navigator. After being promoted to Standardization/Evaluation Radar Navigator, Hite was stationed in various locations: Barksdale Air Force Base near Bossier City, Louisiana; Offutt Air Force Base near Bellevue, Nebraska; Ramstein Air Force Base near Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany; and MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa, Florida. He also was assigned duties during Operation Desert Storm (1991). Throughout his service, Hite served in various units, including 97th Bomb Wine, 340th Bomb Squadron, 1st Combat Evaluation Group, HQ Strategic Air Command, 7th Air Division, and DET 1 8th Air Force (SAC) Central Command. He achieved the rank of Major and received both the Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. Hite left the military on May 31, 1992 and began working at the University of Central Florida. This oral history interview was conducted by Edmund Kallina at the UCF Research Parkway in Orlando, Florida on October 12, 2012.

The Vietnam War was a Cold War Era "military conflict". The war was originally waged between Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. The United States became involved as a preventive measure to combat communism. The official date of the military conflict is November 1, 1955 and ending in April 1975. The date of the war has been disputed, but a study in 1998 by the Department of Defense definitively put the start of the Vietnam War as November 1, 1955. The first combat military troops 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade didn't arrive until 1965. With the arrival of the combat troops came the first traditional battles of combat fighting in the war. During the Vietnam War, not only did American military go into battle with and for South Vietnam, the military also trained members of South Vietnam to fight alongside during the war. Peace talks were attempted, with France moderating, beginning on May 10, 1968. These talks were unsuccessful and lasted over three years. The longest battle of the Vietnam War began on January 21, 1968 and didn't end until the U.S. reclaimed Route 9 on April 8, 1968, seventy-seven days later. While the military conflict ended in 1975, it was a long process towards reunification and redevelopment as a country. The conflict left Vietnam in both political and economical ruins.

While the U.S. military was fighting overseas, Many American citizens protested the war at home. Demonstrations took place across the country with the most famous one being at Kent State University in Ohio. While this is the most well known demonstration it was not the first. Americans questioned the U.S. involvement in the war throughout.

Abstract

Oral history interview of Charles Lewis Hite. Interview conducted by Edmund Kallina at UCF Research Parkway in Orlando, Florida.

Table Of Contents

0:25 Basic bio
0:50 Family
2:40 Enlistment
4:06 Basic training
7:25 Navigator training
11:25 Advanced training
14:15 Planes flown
16:15 Bliville
19:30 Simulations/alerts
21:00 Macabre sense of humor
23:00 Thailand
27:20 Cambodian planes landing at Thailand base
29:30 After Thailand back to Bliville
30:20 Job promotion to Louisiana (4/5 years)
33:00 2 years in Nebraska/ SAC HQ
36:00 7th Air Division in Germany
38:00 Travel in Europe
42:08 post-Vietnam morale Air Force
45:24 length in Germany
46:00 Return to Florida flew around world still
49:52 General Schwarzkopf
51:00 General Hoar
52:28 Duties during Desert Storm
56:00 Working at UCF

Creator

Kallina, Edmund

Source

Hite, Charles Lewis. Interviewed by Edmund Kallina. UCF Community Veterans History Project, D0010465. October 12, 2010. Audio/video record available. UCF Community Veterans History Project, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, Orlando, Florida.

Publisher

Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries

Date Created

2010-10-12

Date Copyrighted

2010-10-12

Date Submitted

2011-05

Conforms To

Standards established by the Veterans History Project, Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/vets/.

Is Part Of

UCF Community Veterans History Project, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, Orlando, Florida.
Vietnam War Collection, UCF Community Veterans History Project Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.

Requires

Multimedia software, such as QuickTime.

Format

video/mp4

Extent

493 MB

Medium

57-minute and 21-second mini-DV audio/video recording

Language

eng

Type

Moving Image

Coverage

Centralia, Illinois
Blyheville, Arkansas
Thailand
Bossier City, Louisiana
Bellevue, Nebraska
Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany
Tampa, Florida
Orlando, Florida

Spatial Coverage

38.529099, -89.131794
35.927425, -89.918346
15.411319, 101.070556
32.501863, -93.657139
41.133587, -95.917674
49.436721, 7.596048
27.849246, -82.521087
28.586371, -81.195931

Temporal Coverage

1947-03-23/2010-10-12

Accrual Method

Deposit

Audience Education Level

SS.K.A.1.2; SS.K.A.2.4; SS.K.C.2.1; SS.1.A.1.1; SS.1.A.2.1; SS.1.A.2.2; SS.1.A.2.4; SS.1.C.3.2; SS.1.C.2.1; SS.1.C.2.2; SS.1.C.2.3; SS.1.C.2.4; SS.2.A.1.1; SS.2.C.2.2; SS.2.C.2.4; SS.2.C.2.5; SS.2.C.3.2; SS.3.A.1.1; SS.3.C.2.1; SS.4.A.1.1; SS.4.C.2.2; SS.4.C.2.3; SS.5.A.1.1; SS.5.C.2.5; SS.6.W.1.3; SS.7.C.2.2; SS.7.C.2.3; SS.7.C.4.1; SS.7.C.4.2; SS.8.A.1.1; SS.8.A.1.5; SS.8.A.1.7; SS.912.A.1.1; SS.912.A.1.6; SS.912.A.6.10; SS.912.A.6.13; SS.912.A.6.14; SSS.912.A.6.15; SS.912.A.7.10; SS.912.A.7.11; SS.912.A.7.17; SS.912.C.2.3; SS.912.C.4.2; SS.912.W.1.3; SS.912.W.1.6; SS.912.W.8.4; SS.912.W.8.10; SS.912.W.9.4; SS.912.W.9.7

Mediator

History Teacher
Civics/Government Teacher

Provenance

Originally created by Edmund Kallina and owned by Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries.

Rights Holder

All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu.specialcollections/.

Curator

Morris, Alisha

Digital Collection

External Reference

"American Experience." Public Broadcasting Company. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/timeline/tl3.html.
Glasser, Jeffrey D. The Secret Vietnam War: The United States Air Force in Thailand, 1961-1975. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co, 1995.
Herring, George C. America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975. New York: Wiley, 1979.
Matthews, Eamonn, Ben Loeterman, and Will Lyman. The Gulf War. Alexandria, VA: PBS Video, 1996.

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Kallina, Edmund

Interviewee

Hite, Charles Lewis

Location

UCF Research Parkway, Orlando, Florida

Original Format

1 mini-DV audio/video recording

Duration

57 minutes and 21 seconds

Bit Rate/Frequency

1197kbps

Time Summary

0:25 Basic bio
0:50 Family
2:40 Enlistment
4:06 Basic training
7:25 Navigator training
11:25 Advanced training
14:15 Planes flown
16:15 Bliville
19:30 Simulations/alerts
21:00 Macabre sense of humor
23:00 Thailand
27:20 Cambodian planes landing at Thailand base
29:30 After Thailand—back to Bliville
30:20 Job promotion—to Louisiana (4/5 years)
33:00 2 years in Nebraska/ SAC HQ
36:00 7th Air Division in Germany
38:00 Travel in Europe
42:08 post-Vietnam morale Air Force
45:24 length in Germany
46:00 Return to Florida—flew around world still
49:52 General Schwarzkopf
51:00 General Hoar
52:28 Duties during Desert Storm
56:00 Working at UCF

Locations

Categories