Thursday, January 10, 2013

550. Paul Robey

So, it should be pretty apparent already that I have a lot of respect for our military men, and it all stems from one reason: my dad was one. He served with the Marines in Vietnam, and that should be enough to tell the story. He paid his price, and so did we, as a family. He never beat us, never became an alcoholic, nothing like that. But he had his PTSD-related issues that worried me from time to time.

So I pause for veterans, every time I see them. I read every line, the unit, the war. In Paul Robey's case, I read the medals, Silver Star, Purple Heart, Distinguised Service Cross. Then I looked them up.

"The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Staff Sergeant Paul W. Robey, Jr. (ASN: 11048120), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company K, 3d Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 18 November 1944, in Germany.

"Withering cross fire from well-concealed enemy machine guns pinned down an attacking platoon near the outskirts of a German village. Upon observing the location of one of the guns in a building, Staff Sergeant Robey voluntarily and courageously ran across thirty yards of exposed ground to reach the structure. With two well-placed grenades, he annihilated the entire gun crew. Sighting an anti-tank gun, Staff Sergeant Robey charged the position single-handedly with an automatic rifle, killing several Germans and forcing the surrender of eighteen others."

But wit, there's more.

"Half way through the town, he observed an enemy tank blocking an important road junction. While enemy artillery shells landed nearby, he quickly led several tank destroyers to the scene and effectively directed fire which disabled the hostile tank. As crew members attempted to make a getaway, his poured a hail of automatic rifle fire upon them and killed the entire crew. Staff Sergeant Robey's outstanding courage and great personal bravery, though wounded by shell fragments during this engagement, resulted in the successful assault upon the town. His intrepid actions and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army."

Wow. World War II did some amazing things to ordinary people.


  1. Here is where our lives collide again. I knew Paul Robey. But I didn't know this.