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First Name: James

Last Name: Robinson

Birthplace: Hinsdale, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Chicago, IL
Middle Name: William

Date of Birth: 30 August 1940

Date of Death: 11 April 1966

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1958 - 1961 (Marine Corps), 1964 - 1966 (Army)
James William Robinson, Jr.

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


James William Robinson, Jr.
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Sergeant James William Robinson, Jr. (30 August 1940 - 11 April 1966) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Robinson earned his Nation's highest award for valor while serving in Vietnam. He was a Sergeant in the Infantry when he was killed on 11 April 1966 and was the first Virginia resident to receive the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.

James William Robinson, Jr. was born on 30 August 1940 in Hinsdale, IL; a Chicago suburb. Robinson graduated from Morton High School in 1958 and enlisted in the U.S. Marines, serving primarily in Okinawa. After his service, Robinson worked in the private sector in Northern Virginia then enlisted in the U.S. Army. Assigned to duty in Panama, Robinson relentlessly requested a transfer to Southeast Asia, which was finally granted in 1965.

On 11 April 1966, while his company was engaged in fierce combat with a Viet Cong battalion, Robinson's magnificent display of leadership and bravery saved several lives and inspired his soldiers to defeat the numerically superior enemy force. For these heroic actions he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

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, IL. Born: 30 August 1940, Hinsdale, IL.

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.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The name of James William Robinson, Jr. is inscribed on Panel 06E, Row 103.


Robinson Secondary School (grades 7-12) opened in Fairfax, Virginia, is named in his honor. 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.

Robinson Elementary School (grades K-6) - in Lyons, IL, is named in his honor.

Robinson Army Reserve Training Center - in Chicago, IL, is named in his honor.

Death and Burial

Sergeant James William Robinson, Jr. was killed in action on 11 April 1966. He is buried at the Clarendon Hills Cemetery in Darien, IL.

Honoree ID: 1070   Created by: MHOH




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