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Black Widow Navy Cross, Legion of Merit, Yangtze Patrol group to VADM Arthur G. Robinson

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Not mine, but too outstanding a group not to be displayed for all to see.

 

“Vice Admiral Arthur G. Robinson (USNA 1913) served during WWII as the Captain of the cruiser USS Marblehead. On a mission to intercept a large Japanese convoy, the Marblehead was attacked by 54 Japanese land based bombers in the Java Sea on February 4, 1942. Two bombs blasted holes in the hull below the waterline and for two hours the desperate crew fought to save the vessel, creatively using live steam from broken pipes to douse fires. Staying on the bridge for 60 hours without sleep, Admiral Robinson steered the ship 2,400 miles to Tjilatjap where temporary repairs were made. A lack of resources at Tjilatjap required the Admiral to steer the ship another 4,500 to South Africa where final repairs were made and the ship then returned to the U.S. Admiral Robinson received the Navy Cross for his "distinguished service" and "excellent seamanship" and was promoted to rear admiral. From 1946 to 1949 the Admiral served as the president of all military commissions convened for the Japanese war trials on Guam. He retired from the Navy in 1951. During his naval career, the Admiral received many medals which are included the this fantastic grouping. Housed in a presentation case, the medals are the following: Navy Cross, Legion of Merit with Combat V (two awards), Commendation Ribbon (two awards), Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Mexican Service Medal, Yangtze Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Philippine Defense Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Navy Occupation Service Medal, Europe Clasp, Order of Orange-Nassau, Grand Officer, Order of the British Empire, Honorary Commander and Legion of Honor.”

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LCDR Arthur G. Robinson, when he commanded the Yangtze Patrol river gunboat U.S.S. Palos, pictured with other Asiatic fleet or Yangtze Patrol C.O.’s at Chungking, China, 1,326 miles upriver from Shanghai, in 1926. Pictured in front are CIC Asiatic Fleet ADM Henry H. Hough and Commander, Yangtze Patrol (ComYangPat) RADM Henry H. Hough.

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RADM Arthur G. Robinson receiving the Legion of Merit from Undersecretary of the Navy Ralph A. Bard (1884-1975). In 1945, Bard became one of eight members of the Interim Committee appointed to advise President Harry S. Truman on the use of the atomic bomb. Although Bard joined in the committee's unanimous recommendation that the bomb should be used in combat as soon as possible and without warning, he developed second thoughts. In a memorandum dated June 27, 1945, to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, Bard argued that Japan should receive two or three days' "preliminary warning" before the bomb was used. "The position of the United States as a great humanitarian nation and the fair play attitude of our people generally is responsible in the main for this feeling," Bard wrote, adding that he felt "that the Japanese government may be searching for some opportunity which they could use as a medium of surrender." He was "the only person known to have formally dissented from the use of the atomic bomb without advance warning." The memorandum also suggested that Japan be informed of "Russia's position," i.e., the likely entry of the Soviet Union into the war, and that "assurances" be given "with regard to the Emperor of Japan and the treatment of the Japanese nation following unconditional surrender.

 

Note the Legion of Merit is an Army Contract piece not the piece produced by the US Mint for the Navy, easily identifiable as it has a larger suspension ring than the Navy contract medals.

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Excellent grouping!! And great write up!


Always looking for items associated with the China Marines! Visit chinamarine.org

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Fantastic group !

 

 

 

Wharf


In Peace and War, US Merchant Marine. WARNING: Dangerous Cargo. No Visitors, No Smoking, No Open Lights.

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On the 1926 Chungking (Szechuan province) officers photo, Robinson is standing far left, the only one in uniform. The flag officers from left to right seated are ADM Clarence S. Watson, CINC Asiatic Fleet and RADM Henry H. Hough, ComYangPat. The glitch in the NYT obit is a typesetting error from when it was printed. Glad to see others are enjoying seeing this fantastic group as much as I did when I came across it.

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Great group. I will not be surprised if his Dutch Grand Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau was rewarded for the Java sea actions of februari 1942.

 

Regards

Herman

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Hermanus, Thanks for posting the card from the Dutch government for the award. Did it confirm it was for the Java sea action on 2/4/42 as we expect it would?

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And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson. Doing her part on the home-front with a flair at the Stage Door Canteen in old Georgetown during WWII.

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A wonderful group to a true Naval hero. Many years ago as a kid I worked with a gent who had served aboard Marblehead and was wounded. Bobgee


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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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Hermanus, Thanks for posting the card from the Dutch government for the award. Did it confirm it was for the Java sea action on 2/4/42 as we expect it would?

Yes, looking at the date it was awarded for those actions.

 

There is a picture of our Queen Wilhelmina awarding some medals and decorations to US service personell during a trip of her to the US in WW2. My country awarded several bravery awards and royal decorations to US Navy, AAF and Army personell in relation to the campaign in SE Asia 1941 - 42 in and around the former Netherlands East Indies.

 

Regards

Herman (and not Hermanus, that is my forum nickname)

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Yes, looking at the date it was awarded for those actions.

 

There is a picture of our Queen Wilhelmina awarding some medals and decorations to US service personell during a trip of her to the US in WW2. My country awarded several bravery awards and royal decorations to US Navy, AAF and Army personell in relation to the campaign in SE Asia 1941 - 42 in and around the former Netherlands East Indies.

 

Regards

Herman (and not Hermanus, that is my forum nickname)

 

Thanks, Herman. If you find that photo please post it here. Trivia question: The photo of Robinson being awarded his LOM is a picture with a picture in a picture. Who is the man in the photo on the mantle and who is the man in the painting within that photo? (no fair googling)

 

 

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I believe that the man in the photo is George C. Marshall. I'm guessing that the painting is probably Black Jack Pershing.

 

Not sure how I would Google this...

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Same photo on mantle I believe...

 

Gen George C Marshall

 

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In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
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Thanks Ron!

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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A little late to the party on this one but a fantastic group and write up on a very historically important Admiral. Fantastic medals! Thanks for sharing the items and Vice Admiral Robinson's service with us here. Outstanding stuff in some of your collections out there.


Always looking for 325th G.I.R. and WWII USMC items!
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