About Us » History of J. W. Robinson

History of J. W. Robinson

Formerly Elm Elementary, Robinson Elementary was renamed in 1967 to honor James William
“Jim” Robinson Jr., a local war hero who was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor for his
bravery and sacrifice in the midst of a battle during the Vietnam war.
FACTS ABOUT James William “Jim” Robinson Jr.
August 30, 1940 - April 11, 1966
Born: Hinsdale, IL
Died: South Vietnam
Education: Morton East High School
Years of service: 1958–1961 (Marine Corps); 1964–1966 (Army)
Medal of Honor Recipient

Awarded for: Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call
of duty
First awarded: March 25, 1863
Last awarded: December 16, 2021
Total recipients: 3,525
Eligibility: United States Armed Forces service members
Total awarded posthumously: 618
Presented by: The president of the United States in the name of the United States Congress

Sergeant James William “Jim” Robinson Jr. was born August 30, 1940. He grew up in Lyons,
Illinois and graduated from Morton East High School in 1958. Shortly after, Robinson joined the
Marine Corps serving from 1958 - 1961. After a short time out of the military, he re-enlisted in
the U.S. Army, and was deployed to Vietnam. On April 11, 1966, Company C, 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry was engaged in fierce combat with a Viet Cong battalion. Despite the heavy fire, Sergeant 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 Sergeant
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 two wounded men were at the
mercy of the enemy, he charged through a withering hail of fire and dragged his comrade to
safety, where he rendered first aid and saved their lives. As the battle continued and casualties
mounted, Sergeant Robinson oved about under intense fire to collect from the wounded their
weapons and ammunition to redistribute them to able-bodied soldiers. Adding his own fire to
that of his men, he assisted in eliminating a major enemy threat. Seeing another wounded
comrade in front of his position, Sergeant 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 two 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, Sergeant 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 two additional chest wounds, he marshaled his fleeting physical strength and hurled
the two 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. Sergeant Robinson’s conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity, at the cost of his life, are in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon the 1st Infantry Division and the United States Armed Forces. Sergeant Robinson was awarded the Medal of Honor, which is the highest military decoration from the United States government. Sergeant Robinson was laid to rest in Clarendon Hills Cemetery.

James William “Jim” Robinson Jr.
August 30, 1940 - April 11, 1966