1974: Robert Robinson, WWI Medal of Honor Winner, Dies

When:
October 5, 2019 all-day
2019-10-05T00:00:00-04:00
2019-10-06T00:00:00-04:00

Robert Robinson was born in Wayne on April 30, 1896. In May 1917, he enlisted with the Marines and the action in France followed. Although seriously wounded during aerial action over Belgium, he continued to fight and successfully drove off attacking enemy scout planes before two additional bullet wounds forced his collapse. For his heroism and gallantry in this and previous action with enemy planes, while attached to the 1st Marine Aviation Force as an observer, GySgt Robinson received this Nation’s highest award.

Gunnery Sergeant Robinson, shot 13 times in the abdomen, chest, and legs, and with his left arm virtually blown off at the elbow, helped bring the plane down in Belgian Territory. His arm, hanging by a single tendon, was grafted back on by the surgeon-general of the Belgian army. The pilot of his plane, Lt Ralph Talbot of Weymouth, Massachusetts, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for this same action, was killed in a plane crash a few days later.

He was honorably discharged in 1919 as a gunnery sergeant and was appointed a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve. His retirement was effected in May 1923 and his promotion to the rank of first lieutenant in September 1936.

Upon retirement, he made his home at St. Ignace, Michigan. Robinson died on October 5, 1974 at his home. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Medal of Honor Citation:

For extraordinary heroism as observer in the 1st Marine Aviation Force at the front in France. In company with planes from Squadron 218, Royal Air Force, conducting an air raid on 8 October 1918, Gunnery Sergeant Robinson’s plane was attacked by nine enemy scouts. In the fight which followed, he shot down one of the enemy planes. In a later air raid over Pitthan, Belgium, on 14 October 1918, his plane and one other became separated from their formation on account of motor trouble and were attacked by 12 enemy scouts. Acting with conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in the fight which ensured, Gunnery Sergeant Robinson, after shooting down one of the enemy planes, was struck by a bullet which carried away most of his elbow. At the same time his gun jammed. While his pilot maneuvered for position, he cleared the jam with one hand and returned to the fight. Although his left arm was useless, he fought off the enemy scouts until he collapsed after receiving two more bullet wounds, one in the stomach and one in the thigh.

Source : Robert Roberson wikipedia entry

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