Freedom Fighters: Captain John Roberts - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/6/04-Tyler

Freedom Fighters: Captain John Roberts

 In 1952, Roberts was selected to head up a special operations group to destroy a Chinese airport. The airport, tucked away in a mountainous region of Manchuria, was a major supply line to North Korea.

Roberts' group of 16 men walked more than 200 miles over hazardous terrain, all the while living off the land. The group was almost to their destination, when Roberts was captured during a scouting trip. After days of torture and interrogation, Roberts escaped his cell during the changing of guards and exited the camp hidden among barrels of sewage. Roberts and his group were successful in destroying the Chinese airfield and saving thousands of American lives.

Six of his gallant group lost their lives before they could be picked up by an American helicopter. Although Roberts didn't tell his story for years, he's written about it in his manuscript "The Group of Sixteen."

Roberts wants the deeds of his men to be remembered and he says he's proud to have served his country.

Joan Hallmark, reporting.
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