Patrolman James S. Hildreth

Patrolman James S. Hildreth

Lenoir City Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Sunday, January 27, 1952

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James S. Hildreth

Patrolman Hildreth was shot and killed trying to apprehend a group of suspects in an attempted theft.

Patrolman Hildreth was hit by a rain of bullets from a group of teenagers. The fatal shot to the officer was a shot between the eyes in the exchange of bullets with occupants of a get-a-way car which was leaving the scene of a theft attempt. He died a few hours later in a Knoxville hospital.

Four boys and two girls were apprehended a short time later. Two of the boys, ages 19 and 18, were convicted of voluntary manslaughter. One was sentenced to 2 to 5 years and the other to 2 years in prison. The other two, ages 19 and 17, were convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to one year in the county jail. The girls were released.

Patrolman Hildreth, a WWII veteran, was survived by his expectant wife, Robbie, two daughters, a brother, and a sister. His son was born later and resembles him. He was buried in Banks cemetery.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 3 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, January 26, 1952
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced for manslaughter

robbery attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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With respect from the Lee family. You relieved my Grandfather Frank Lee when he left the lenior Police Department. It very well could of been him. Your memory will live on threw me as I walk the law enforcment path.

Deputy Sheriff Ben Lee

September 4, 2021

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