As an Military ahead observer, Lieutenant Robinson’s job was to work his method up near enemy positions and radio in coordinates for artillery strikes. In April 1945, his infantry regiment had pushed deep into Germany and was crossing a river when it bumped into robust resistance: 1,800 males from an SS Panzer division, dug in on excessive floor.
His firm of about 100 males attacked throughout an open discipline, however the Germans hit again laborious. They attacked once more earlier than daybreak the following day, however the SS troops have been prepared, raking them with machine-gun hearth and pounding them with mortars. By midday, half the corporate was useless or wounded, and the remainder have been pinned down. At that essential second, the corporate commander was shot within the head by a sniper.
That left Lieutenant Robinson, who had subsequent to no management expertise, in command.
“Absolutely conscious of the hopelessness of the state of affairs, figuring out that if the corporate remained in that place they’d be annihilated in a really quick time, he would have been justified in withdrawing,” learn a singed report within the file, typed by a sergeant shortly after the battle. As an alternative, Lieutenant Robinson, “with full disregard for his private security, amid the lethal hail of bullets and shells, gallantly and courageously rose to his ft and coolly walked among the many males, shouting encouragement,” the report mentioned.
He led a cost up the hill, leaping into enemy trenches and killing 10 German troopers at shut vary, information confirmed. The corporate rallied behind him and overran the place.
Although the unit was down to simply one-quarter energy, the lieutenant urged the boys on to rout the enemy from a close-by village. At its edge, an enemy mortar spherical exploded subsequent to him, sending scorching shrapnel by his larynx.
Bleeding down his chest and barely capable of converse, Lieutenant Robinson refused first assist and continued for hours to name in artillery strikes. At sundown, with the Germans lastly pushed off, he walked wordlessly again to the closest assist station, a mile and a half away. He died on an working desk a couple of hours later.
Ms. Milhous had heard as a baby that her father was a hero, however the archive’s detailed information crammed within the gaps, reassured her that the tales have been extra than simply legends, and gave her one thing concrete to move down.
“It lastly places issues to relaxation,” she mentioned. “And I can relaxation too, figuring out his reminiscence is preserved.”