PEOPLE--UNITED STATES

Private First Class Robert L. Wilson, USMC, (1921-1944)

Robert Lee Wilson was born on 21 May 1920 in Centralia, Illinois. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps from that state in September 1941. Following recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at San Diego, California, he went to the Pacific for combat duty against the Japanese. Between August 1942 and mid-1944, Wilson participated in the Guadalcanal Campaign, the bloody fight for Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands and the invasion of the Marianas. He also received promotion to Private First Class.

On 3 August 1944 Wilson was serving with the Second Battalion, Sixth Marines, Second Marine Division in combat on Tinian Island, Marianas Group. While advancing through heavy underbrush to neutralize Japanese resistance, an enemy grenade suddenly landed amid his group of Marines. Warning his comrades, Wilson threw himself on the grenade, sacrificing his life to save the others. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Robert L. Wilson is buried at Hillcrest Memorial Park, Centralia, Illinois.

USS Robert L. Wilson (DD-847), 1946-1980, was named in honor of Private First Class Robert L. Wilson.

This page features the only image we have concerning Robert L. Wilson.

Photo #: NH 106476

Private First Class Robert L. Wilson, USMC


Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 283.
Robert L. Wilson was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" while serving with the Second Battalion, Sixth Marines, Second Marine Division in action against the Japanese at Tinian Island, Marianas Group on 4 August 1944.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 80KB; 580 x 765 pixels

 



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To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.





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