Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Award of Air Force Cross to William A. Robinson
The Air Force Cross
William A. Robinson
Airman First Class William A Robinson distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an Aircrew Member of a HH-43B helicopter over North Vietnam on 20 September 1965. On that date, Airman Robinson participated in an extremely hazardous attempted recovery of a downed pilot. This mission required a flight of over 80 miles, mostly over hostile controlled territory. Evaluation of the environment in which the downed pilot was located indicated that maximum performance would be demanded from each crew member if successful recovery was to be effected. Though exposed to intensive hostile ground fire, Airman Robinson, with complete disregard for his own safety, performed with courage and professional precision in the supreme effort to rescue a fallen comrade. Airman Robinson's courageous action and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the American fighting man under attack by an opposing armed force.
Erected 2004 by Tyndall NCOA Class 04-02.
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space • War, Vietnam.
Location. 32° 24.251′ N, 86° 14.963′ W. Marker is in Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in Montgomery County. Memorial can be reached from the intersection of McDonald Street and Avenue D. Located at the USAF Senior NCO Academy on Gunter AFB and requires base access. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 550 McDonald Street, Montgomery AL 36114, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Award of Air Force Cross to Arthur N. Black (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to William H. Pitsenbarger (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Duane D. Hackney (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Russell M. Hunt (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Larry W. Maysey (a few steps from this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Eugene L. Clay (a few steps from this marker); "That Others May Live" (a few steps from Award of Air Force Cross to Dennis M. Richardson (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Maxwell Air Force Base.
Regarding Award of Air Force Cross to William A. Robinson. A1C William A. Robinson was a flight engineer on a 38th ARS HH-43B as it flew a rescue mission to recover a downed pilot about 40 miles south of Vinh, North Vietnam, on Sept. 20, 1965. The rescue team found the pilot, but as they attempted to hoist him, the helicopter was shot down. The entire crew was captured. Robinson and fellow Air Force Cross recipient A3C A. Neil Black, a pararescueman on the same helicopter, were not released until February 1973.
A1C (later MSgt) Robinson was granted a battlefield commission, while a POW, in 1969 as a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force, which was made official by President Nixon on April 9, 1973. William (Bill) Robinson retired from active duty in 1984 for medical reasons but he left with an impressive record of military service that included 23-years in service, with 7 of those being in captivity. He was one of the first enlisted members to receive the Air Force Cross in addition to being awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, POW Medal and two Purple Hearts.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 29, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 353 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 29, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.