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James W. Robinson, Jr.
Army Medal of Honor
Born (1940-08-30)August 30, 1940
Died April 11, 1966(1966-04-11) (aged 25)
Place of birth Hinsdale, Illinois
Place of death Republic of Vietnam
Place of burial Clarendon Hills Cemetery, Darien, Illinois
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Army
Years of service 1958 - 1961 (Marine Corps)
1964 - 1966 (Army)
Rank Sergeant
Unit 16th Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars Vietnam War
*Battle of Xa Cam My
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

James William "Jim" Robinson, Jr. (August 30, 1940–April 11, 1966) was an American soldier and a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor. Robinson earned the award while serving with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He was a Sergeant (E-5) in the infantry when he was killed under heroic circumstances on April 11, 1966, at age 25.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Born in 1940 in Hinsdale, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, Robinson graduated from J. Sterling Morton High School District 201|Morton High School in 1958 and enlisted in the U.S. Marines, serving primarily in Okinawa. After his service ended in 1961, Robinson worked in the private sector in northern Virginia, then re-enlisted in 1964, this time in the U.S. Army.[1] Assigned to duty in Panama, Robinson relentlessly requested a transfer to Southeast Asia, which was finally granted in 1965.

Robinson is listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on panel 06E, row 103, and is buried at the Clarendon Hills Cemetery in Darien, Illinois. He was the first Virginia resident to receive the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.

Robinson Secondary School, opened in 1971 in Northern Virginia's Fairfax County, is named in his honor, as is Robinson Elementary School in Lyons, Illinois.

Sgt. Robinson's Medal of Honor was donated to Robinson Secondary School by his parents. The Medal is displayed in the school's main hall and has served as an inspiration to the school's student population for many years.

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, April 11, 1966. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: August 30, 1940, Hinsdale, Ill. Citation:

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 machine gun 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 machine gun 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.[2]

Honors[edit | edit source]

  • Robinson Secondary School (grades 7-12) - Fairfax, Virginia
  • Robinson Elementary School (grades K-6) - Lyons, Illinois
  • Robinson Army Reserve Training Center - Chicago, Illinois

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

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