The American ship captain who was taken hostage by Somali pirates and freed in a dramatic rescue is to return to the United States Wednesday.

Maersk Line, Limited says Captain Richard Phillips and his crew are to arrive at a U.S. Air Force base outside Washington (Andrews Air Force Base) late Wednesday on a chartered flight from Mombasa, Kenya.

The pirates took Phillips hostage Wednesday, after an unsuccessful attempt to hijack his vessel, the Maersk Alabama.  They held him for days in an enclosed life boat. 

The captain was freed Sunday, when U.S. Navy snipers killed his three captors.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.