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James W.Robinson, Jr--loved son,friend,and brother of C Co. 2/16

Special thanks goes out to Jim's father James W. Robinson, Sr and his family for sharing these pictures and thoughts of love with us. May God Always Be With You
Jimmy and his dad 1963
James W. Robinson, Jr--Medal of Honor recipient--served in 1st Division, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry,"Rangers" Charlie Company, 1st Platoon, 1st Squad, "Sutterfield's Bunch"
Lord, bless the wives, who grieve alone,
And comfort the mothers who mourn their own.
Give solace to the fathers who lost their sons
On foreign shores and in places unknown.
Lord, strengthen the resolve of we who remain,
To see that they did not die in vain.
By Maj. Gen. James B. Middleton
The Fight Song of the school dedicated to Jimmy located in Virginia called James W. Robinson, Jr. Secondary School

Medal of Honor Ceremony

The above picture was taken by Jim's parents at Jimmy's Medal of Honor Ceremony in which the President's own band played for them.
In a letter I received from Jimmy's father he enclosed a section which was written by him in tribute to his son which I would like to share with you all.

My son, Jim, was killed in Vietnam April 11, 1966. For his bravery in action he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The attached citation describes the tragic circumstances of his death. Two public schools, an Amry Reserve Training Center and an annual military award have been named in his honor. He was 25 years old when he died--tall, strong, handsome, personable--a perfect physical specimen. Six feet three; 205 pounds. Never had a cavity in his teeth. Never before had he raised his hand in anger.

What kind of a person was he? He was born August 30, 1940 in Hinsdale, Illinois. His early life was unremarkable. Middle-class serenity. As he approached his teens he was a little overweight; a little clumsy. A poor match for his more agile brother two years his junior. That bothered him. But he had a bullheaded sense of determination and when he was about twelve years old he launched a solitary campaign to achieve physical fitness. he suscribed to a body-building course which, to his family and friends, was ridiculous. An unscientific, turn-of-the-century routine described in ponderous language. But from the day he received his first lesson until the day he was killed, thirteen years later, he observed the rules laid down for him with a single-mindedness that was almost frightening. He ran a mile every day. He practiced deep breathing. He lifted weights. He took dancing lessons to improve his coordination. He ate health foods.

If all this makes him sound like some kind of nut, that isn't a true picture. He was a bright, pleasant boy with a keen, if somewhat earthy, sense of humor. Like most of us he was a paradox. His fantasies involved violent, heroic deeds, but in his day-to-day life he was both gentle and sympathetic. He loved solitude, animals and children. A sick dog or a bird with a broken wing were personal tragedies to him.

As a student he was average, but along about third grade he became a victim of the then-current wave of "progressive education". Phonics; the alphabet; rules of grammar were ignored. He was taught to read by recognizing the shape of words. He could pronounce "grandmother" but not "the" or "cat" or "run". It required hours, months and years of remedial effort to overcome the damage caused by that ill-fated venture into modern teaching.

But he did overcome it and developed a fine appreciation of literature. Adventure stories were his favorites. His heros were Hemingway, MacArthur, Robert Ruark and John James. His ambition was to become a writer. Some of his initial attempts were primative, influenced to some extent, no doubt, by his earlier clash with "the system". But he was beginning to develop a sense of literary organization. His copy began to take on a sense of power and rhythm. His vocabulary expanded daily, under the impetus of a deliberate training program. Whether he would have achieved a degree of skill necessary to qualify him as a writer we will never know.

For Jim, the terms, "high school" and "football" were synonymous. He played four years at tackle, both offense and defense. After his death, the athletic director at Morton High School, James Regan, said: " You don't forget a boy of this type. He weighed about 205, sometimes edging towards 210, and he could adjust to adversity quickly. He'd meet a 400-pounder if he had to" "Jimmy was honorable mention at tackle on the All-Suburban League team in 1958. The work of the 6-foot-2-inch defenseman never wavered." " He was always in condition, ready for a tough game," said Regan. " A real bug on physical fitness." " The boy had contributed a host of tackles, even in defeat, and he played it rugged....toward the center of the line.....upsetting many an opposition play."

In 1958, when Jim was 18, he joined the US marines, explaining that since the Marines were the finest fighting force in the world, he wanted to be part of it. In service he blossomed both physically and intellectually. Much of his term was spent in Okinawa, where he was exposed to and embraced some elements of Oriental philosophy. It was there also that he learned and mastered the art of Karate and won the Championship of the All-Japan Karate League. He was awarded the Black belt, grade 2 in 1962. While in the Marines he continued to play football and when he returned home after his enlistment expired, he was a magnificent physical specimen, as powerful, graceful and alert as a finely-tuned instrument.

A key to Jim's character and life must be found in the political and philosophical convictions which goverened his conduct. Where he aquired his ideas, I don't know. He was raised in a family which could be characterized as New Deal Liberal. Civil rights, collective bargaining and social progress were tenents of our belief. But Jim developed into a super-patriot; an ultra-conservative; somewhat to the right of Louis XVI. He believed that any American who didn't believe in total victory in the Vietnam Conflict was a traitor. With the idealism of the very young, he pictured this war in sharp clear lines of black and white. It was to him a struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. He believed that Americans are soft and selfish and smug; concerned with gadgets and Government handouts. He longed for a return to the personal responsibility, initiative and self reliance.

Jim's civilian life following his Marine enlistment was a mixture of success and failure. He operated a school for defense in Arlington, Virginia, and enjoyed every minute of it, but the business world left him cold and confused. He often said," I wouldn't be president of a bank for anything in the world."

As the United States involvement in Vietnam accelerated, Jim grew impatient to take part. He re-enlisted, this time in the Army, but instead of the Far East, the military in its wisdom shipped him to Panama. On an average of twice a month he requested a transfer and finally, in 1965, he was assigned to Company C, Second battalion, 16th Infantry regiment in Saigon, engaged, primarily, in search and destroy missions.

A faithful correspondent, he wrote every week. He never complained. The fatigue, insects, dirt, uncertainty, danger---and frequent deadly boredom---were minor annoyance.

On April 12, 1966, my secretary in my Washington, D.C. office announced a visitor; a Chaplain in the United States Army. His painful duty was to inform me that Jim had been killed.

So that is a brief description of my son, Sergeant James W. Robinson, Jr. It is totallt inadequate. Unspoken are the hours of companionship, the shared adventures, the way he held his head ( the same way I do), the gestures, the heavy way of walking ( just like me), the warm affection, the bright smile, the heated political arguments, the hangovers after an all-night spree.

He was my dear friend. I miss him. I loved him very much--James W. Robinson, Sr.


The below picture was taken in 1963 of Jimmy and his family. From left to right: Jim's mother Alice, Jim, his sister Joan.
Medal of Honor Citation JAMES WILLIAM ROBINSON JR Sergeant, U.S. Army Company C, 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and Date: Republic of Vietnam, 11 April 1966. Entered Service at: Chicago, Ill. Born : 30 August 1940, Hinsdale, Ill. For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Company C was engaged in fierce combat with a Viet Cong battalion. Despite the heavy fire, Sgt. Robinson moved among the men of his fire team, instructing and inspiring them, and placing them in advantageous positions. Enemy snipers located in nearby trees were inflicting heavy casualties on forward elements of Sgt. Robinson's unit. Upon locating the enemy sniper whose fire was taking the heaviest toll, he took a grenade launcher and eliminated the sniper. Seeing a medic hit while administering aid to a wounded sergeant in front of his position and aware that now the 2 wounded men were at the mercy of the enemy, he charged through a withering hail of fire and dragged his comrades to safety, where he rendered first aid and saved their lives. As the battle continued and casualties mounted, Sgt. Robinson moved about under intense fire to collect from the wounded their weapons and ammunition and redistribute them to able-bodied soldiers. Adding his fire to that of his men, he assisted in eliminating a major enemy threat. Seeing another wounded comrade in front of his position, Sgt. Robinson again defied the enemy's fire to effect a rescue. In so doing he was himself wounded in the shoulder and leg. Despite his painful wounds, he dragged the soldier to shelter and saved his life by administering first aid. While patching his own wounds, he spotted an enemy machinegun which had inflicted a number of casualties on the American force. His rifle ammunition expended, he seized 2 grenades and, in an act of unsurpassed heroism, charged toward the entrenched enemy weapon. Hit again in the leg, this time with a tracer round which set fire to his clothing, Sgt. Robinson ripped the burning clothing from his body and staggered indomitably through the enemy fire, now concentrated solely on him, to within grenade range of the enemy machinegun position. Sustaining 2 additional chest wounds, he marshaled his fleeting physical strength and hurled the 2 grenades, thus destroying the enemy gun position, as he fell dead upon the battlefield. His magnificent display of leadership and bravery saved several lives and inspired his soldiers to defeat the numerically superior enemy force. Sgt. Robinson's conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity, at the cost of his life, are in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon the 1st Infantry Division and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Special People--The Robinson's

Many thanks go to the two people below, Jim's parents, for their dedication and love for their son. Once again Thank You.
Below are rememberences of Jimmy from the Virtual Wall
Jimmy, I will always remember you. We were in the first platoon together, 1st squad Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, for over 10 months.
We became great friends, maybe even more than that. Eternal Brothers! I was with you when your days on earth ended.
You gave your all, no one could ever ask for a better or more loyal friend than you.
Your name is now engraved in that black wall, in Washington, D.C. About seven years ago early one morning I came and touched your name and the 37 others from Charlie Company who died on that day.
God has made a place for people who gave their lives for their brothers. I look forward to seeing you and the rest of the guys someday.
You are always in my heart and mind.
Your friend Charlie Epperson, I love you Jimmy!--June 1, 1999
Sgt., I will always remember you, especially after your statement when you went you wanted to go hard.
Well believe me you did and in so doing you certainly saved a bunch of your comrades.
There is even a book out about the battle called "Mudsoldiers" the first chapter describes the action in pretty minute detail most of it provided by Lt. Libs.
Well keep the faith and may God watch over you.
Frank Fox VN 66--submitted June 9, 1999
Dear Sir, you was in Charlie Company with me. You was my squad leader and I served with you that day in April.
The operation was called "Abilene" and our company commander the Cpt. was wounded in that same action.
Were it not for you two men I would of died in the field that day. I have never witnessed a thing more powerful and I will take it to my grave.
Sgt. Robinson became the example I thought of everytime I remembered our Division motto:
No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great, Duty First."
May God keep him safe throughout eternity!
Pvt. Robert E. Johnson C 2/16--submitted March 2, 2000