Richard E. Robinson, Pilot
323 Bomb Group, 455 Bomb Squadron
RICHARD E. ROBINSON - B26 PILOT
“Robby” took primary at Cuero, Texas, Basic at Curtis Field, Brady Texas, received Wings at Lubbock, Texas, and shipped to Avon Park Fla. - B26 bombing range. He and crew ferried a B-26 from Savannah, GA. to Prestwick, Scotland, this was called the northern route.
Missions carried out by the 323BG, 455BS, included targets in France, Belgium, and Holland, attacking marshalling yards, airdromes, industrial plants, military installations and V-weapon sites.. Robinson took part in the D-Day landing, flying coastal bombing raids at very low altitude. On Dec. 13th 1943, two significant missions were flown by the 323rd along with other groups. Richard piloted the “Liberty Lady”, YU V 41 31781, the target was the airdrome at Amsterdam, Schipol, Holland. The mission story was told by Bud Hutton (Stars & Stripes) and reprinted in the local paper.------- “ the attack cost Medium Bomber Command two a/c over enemy territory, and a lot more that were badly shot up”------ the report on five planes from one Marauder group commanded by Lt. Col Wilson Wood of Chico, TX., tells the story of Schipol flak. All five were hit hard by burst of flak, all five just barely limped home to England. Robby and crew had to bail on the return. From the report of Richard E. Robinson of Pittsfield, IL., pilot of Liberty Lady, ----“ the nose was shattered by flak, my bombardier was wounded from fragments and plexi-glass, we released our bombs, headed home with the right prop feathered, the left bomb-bay door jammed open, the left engine hit and smoking. Some 15 miles off the English coast the left engine gave out and then re-started, we prepared to bail out at 2000 feet, at 1500 feet and 4 mi. out the left engine gave out. The crew was told to bail and around 500 ft. I was the last one out. The plane hit the ground in a field, almost at the same time I hit the ground. ----” (Also see book: Marauder Men, by John Moench, p122) This was the first Liberty Lady.
Another write up: Two Marauder pilots and a bombardier who flew over A-S airdrome last Dec. 13th have been awarded the British Dist. Flying Cross for their achievements that day. The men are Lt. Col. Geo. P. Gould of St. Paul, Minn., 2nd Lt Rich. E. Robinson of Pittsfield, IL. and Olaf A. Begre of Litchville, N.D., bombardier. The story goes on about the award, who presented it, naming the commander, W. Wood & Lt Gen. L. Brereton of the 9th AF. “ Col Gould and Lt. Robinson returned to England with their twin-engine bomber badly damaged by flak. The Col. made a successful crash landing without injury to his crew. Lt. Robinson & his men bailed out after both engines quit, the pilot jumping at 400 ft. after remaining in the plane to prevent it from crashing into a village.”
Crew: Sgt. H. G. Graham, engineer/turret gunner; Pvt. Marty Dishong , tail gunner; Pvt. Arthur, radio operator,/turret waist gunner; Lt. L. E. Kisner , bombardier/navigator; Lt. Oakley, co -pilot.
Mid - Jan. 1942, the Army Air Force policy changed per Chief of Staff General H. H. Arnold, lowering the minimum age limit from 20 to 18 years of age for all air cadets. ( from the book “The Wild Blue” by Stephen E. Ambrose”. ) Robinson completed Army Air Force armory school, Lowery, Colorado on April 11 1942, age 18, and was then called to pilot training.
Richard E. Robinson B-26 Marauder Pilot
Born 28 August 1923—New Salem, Illinois
Education May 1940-graduate Pittsfield, IL. High School Age 17
Enlisted 08 December 1941 US Army Air Force-Private (16051207) Age 18
Armament School 04 November 1942 graduate Lowery Field, Colorado Age 18
First Flight 10 June 1942 PT 19A Fairchild Trainer Age 18
First Solo Flight 23 June 1942 Age 18
Pilot Training Class 43-A
Graduated-Pilot (Wings) 14 January 1943- Silver Wings, LA F5 Lubbock, Texas ` Age 19
** Flight Officer (FO T 120861) Pilot
Rated Multi-Engine Land
B-26 Training 1 July 1943-- 336th BG 478th BS—Avon Park, Florida Age 19
ETO-Northern Route Ferry B-26—Savannah, GA to Prestwick, England
Assignment 8th AF 323rd BG 455th BS -- August 1943-- Station 358
9th AF 323rd BG 455th BS -- October 1943—ETO
Stationed Earl Colne, Essex, England, station 358
First Combat Mission 16 August 1943 B-26 Pilot Age 19
First B-26 Liberty Lady YU-V41-31781____ B-26B-25-MA
Ranks Flight Officer (T120861) 14 January 1943--August 1943
2nd Lt (2045193) Commissioned Officer April 1944 Age 20
1st Lt. May 1944 Lake Charles, LA. CCTS-(MB) 3rd BC
Missions 68 (53 without a co-pilot)
Stateside January 1945 Instrument Instructor, A-26 Training Age 21
Decorations Five American Distinguished Crosses
British Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal—10 Oak clusters
Campaigns Air Offensive, Europe---Normandy Invasion
Aircraft Qualification Checked out in: PT19A, BT13, AJ9, AJ17, B26, P47, A26
** May have been the YOUNGEST B-26 pilot in the US Army Air Corps, European Theater in WWII when he received his Wings on January 14, 1943 at an age of 19 years, 4 months, and 17 days.
He was maybe the youngest American Army Air Force B-26 pilot ever at time of receiving his wings. Richard Robinson passed away July 30, 2005.
Dec 27 2005
British Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Chief Marshall, Sir
Trafford Leigh-Mallory, commander of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force,
made the presentation at a special ceremony held at a Marauder Air base
which is commanded by Col. Wilson R. Wood of Chico, Tx.
Kansans Who Are Softening The Nazis With Air Blast
Duke Shoop of the Star's staff met these Kansans at an air base in England. Left to Right Capt. Dale Neelly of Wichita, forty-three missions; Lieut. James W. Augustine of Potwin, Kas., twenty missions; Sergt. Walter J. Hassinger, Hutchinson, Kas, sixty-three missions; Lieut Richard E. Robinson, Osawatomie, Kas., forty-three missions .
|Left front- R. Robinson, fourth from left might be David Sloane, pilot of Eager Eleanor and on the far right might be Col. Wilson R Wood of Chico TX. or Gen. Anderson?|
Richard E. Robinson, B26 pilot of Liberty Lady, YU V
41-31781, 323BG - 455BS