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Francis M. Robinson

 

Francis Martin Robinson, born 28 October 1883 in Philadelphia, Pa., was a member of the Naval Academy class of 1906. His varied career of distinguished service to his country through the Navy included shipboard assignments, and duty ashore in recruiting and with the Naval Reserve. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his outstanding work as executive officer in Baltimore laying the North Sea Mine Barrage in World War I. Commander Robinson retired 30 June 1934, but returned to active duty 10 September 1940 as Civilian Personnel Officer for the Fourth Naval District. He thus served until his death 3 November 1942.

 

(DE-220: dp. 1,400; l. 306'; b. 36'10"; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Buckley)

 

Francis M. Robinson (DE-220) was launched 1 May 1943 by Philadelphia Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. Francis M. Robinson, widow of Commander Robinson; and commissioned 15 January 1944, Lieutenant J. E. Johansen, USNR, in command.

 

After a period of service as escort along the east coast, Francis M. Robinson arrived at Norfolk 2 May 1944 to join the Bogue (CVE-9) hunter-killer group, an outstandingly successful antisubmarine force in whose Presidential Unit Citation Francis M. Robinson was to share. Patrolling off the Cape Verde Islands on 13 May, she made a sound contact, and mounted a deliberate attack with depth charges and hedgehogs which sank Japanese submarine RO-501, the former German U-1224. Upon the return of the Bogue group to New York 4 July, Francis M. Robinson was detached. She served briefly to aid submarines in training out of New London, and on 2 August sailed from New York on the first of five convoy escort voyages to north African ports. During the fourth such voyage, on 17 February as the convoy formed up to pass eastward through the Straits of Gibraltar, two of the merchantmen were torpedoed. Francis M. Robinson saw one sail off to port under her own power, and remained with the other, sending a damage control party on board to assist in stopping flooding, until a tug came out of Gibraltar.

 

Completing her convoy duty 15 May 1945, Francis M. Robinson aided submarines training out of New London, and was school ship at the Naval Training Center at Miami, and from November through February 1946 served as plane guard for carriers training in Chesapeake Bay. She first arrived at Key West, her base for the remainder of her naval career, 6 February 1947, and from that time conducted development operations in antisubmarine warfare. Her activities took her on cruises along the east coast and throughout the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, and were varied with participation in exercises of many types. Francis M. Robinson was placed out of commission in reserve at Philadelphia 20 June 1960.

 

In addition to the Presidential Unit Citation, Francis M. Robinson received one battle star for World War II service.