Medal of Honor





Rank and organization: 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.

On 20 March 2000, I received the following e-mail message:

Dear Sir, Though it may seem petty in the face of the events discribed in Sgt Robinson's MOH citation I would humbly point out he was in Charlie Company. He was my squad leader and I served with him that day in April. The operation was called Abilene and our Company commander's name was Captain Donaldson(wounded in the same action).

Were it not for those two men I would have died on the field that day. I have never witnessed a thing more powerfull and I will take it with me to my grave. Sgt Robinson became the example I thought of everytime I remembered our Division motto: "No mission to difficult, No sacrifice to great, Duty First" May God Keep Him Safe throughout eternity.

Pvt Robert E Johnson C Company 2/16, 1st Infantry Division


Webmaster response: Corrected!

There is a public high school named after James W. Robinson Jr., in Fairfax Virginia. Thanks to Mike:

--- General / Personal ---


Last name: ROBINSON


Home of Record (official): LYONS

State (official): IL

Date of Birth: Friday, August 30, 1940

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single


--- Military ---


Branch: Army

Rank: SGT

Serial Number: 16780221

Component: Regular

Pay grade: E5

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11B40


--- Action ---


Start of Tour: Saturday, July 10, 1965

Date of Casualty: Monday, April 11, 1966

Age at time of loss: 25

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Multiple fragmentation wounds (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Unknown/Not Reported

The Wall: Panel 06E - Row 103


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