December 7, 2010

James E. Robinson

James E. Robinson, Medal of Honor recipient, was born in Toledo, Ohio, on July 10, 1918. He entered military service at Waco, Texas, and at the time of his death was assigned to the 861st Field Artillery Battalion, Sixty-third Infantry Division, United States Army. On April 6, 1945, Robinson was a field-artillery observer attached to Company A, 253rd Infantry, near Untergriesheim, Germany. After eight hours of fighting over open terrain, the company had lost its commanding officer and nearly all of its key enlisted men. With only twenty-three unwounded riflemen and carrying his heavy radio equipment, Lieutenant Robinson led his men through intense fire in a charge against the objective. He killed ten of the enemy with point-blank pistol and rifle fire and with his men swept the area of all resistance. Soon afterward he was ordered to seize the town of Kressbach. After encouraging each of his remaining nineteen men, he again led them forward. In the advance he was mortally wounded in the throat, but refused medical attention and continued to direct artillery fire. After the town was taken he walked nearly two miles to an aid station, where he died. By his intrepid leadership Robinson was directly responsible for the successful mission of Company A, against tremendous odds. He is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at San Antonio.

Citation
He was a field artillery forward observer attached to Company A, 253d Infantry, near Untergriesheim, Germany, on 6 April 1945. Eight hours of desperate fighting over open terrain swept by German machinegun, mortar, and small-arms fire had decimated Company A, robbing it of its commanding officer and most of its key enlisted personnel when 1st Lt. Robinson rallied the 23 remaining uninjured riflemen and a few walking wounded, and, while carrying his heavy radio for communication with American batteries, led them through intense fire in a charge against the objective. Ten German infantrymen in foxholes threatened to stop the assault, but the gallant leader killed them all at point-blank range with rifle and pistol fire and then pressed on with his men to sweep the area of all resistance. Soon afterward he was ordered to seize the defended town of Kressbach. He went to each of the 19 exhausted survivors with cheering words, instilling in them courage and fortitude, before leading the little band forward once more. In the advance he was seriously wounded in the throat by a shell fragment, but, despite great pain and loss of blood, he refused medical attention and continued the attack, directing supporting artillery fire even though he was mortally wounded. Only after the town had been taken and he could no longer speak did he leave the command he had inspired in victory and walk nearly 2 miles to an aid station where he died from his wound. By his intrepid leadership 1st Lt. Robinson was directly responsible for Company A's accomplishing its mission against tremendous odds.

GPS Coordinates
29° 28.661, -098° 25.819

Section T
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio

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