1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

Ira Robinson

Company C 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

 

 

Sergeant Ira Robinson

 

 

Ira Robinson was born in London, Pope County, Arkansas on July 10, 1922.

His father was A. J. Robinson and his mother was Olga Trapp. His mother was born in Germany in 1891.
She must have taught the German language to her son as Ira could speak German even though his education
was stopped at the third grade level when he dropped out of school in 1933.

In 1935 at the age of thirteen Ira went to work for H. D. Waldo and Son Lumber Company in London, Arkansas.
As a logger his duties with the Company included loading and hauling logs in 1 ½ ton trailers and trucks,
snaking logs out of the woods with the use of horse teams, hauling and stacking rough lumber and other
various duties around the lumber mill.

In either 1941 or 1942 Ira registered with the Selective Service Department.

 

Selective Service Registration for Ira Robinson
He was 19 years old when he registered for the draft which dates this card as being recorded
sometime between July 10, 1941 and July 10, 1942. Ira's brother R.E. Cochran was listed as
the person who would always know his address. At a later time this card was updated with
the notation (at the top) of Ira's discharge date.

 

 

After seven years of working for the lumber company Ira Robinson left Waldo and Son and enrolled
in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). He served in the CCC for six months, receiving an
honorable discharge from the CCC in 1942.

Ira was drafted into the Army, being officially inducted on October 15, 1942. He entered active duty on October 29, 1942
at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Little Rock, Arkansas. He listed his civilian occupation as laborer and his home of residence
as London, Pope County, Arkansas. He took Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Within a short time
of completing Basic Training as an Infantry Private, Ira was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

It was policy at the time to make CCC alumni Corporals and Sergeants upon their entering military service
because of the work ethic and team experience they learned while working in the CCC. Ira's records show that
of the 38 months he served in the Army, 36 of those months were served while holding the rank of Sergeant
and the Military Occupational Specialty of 745 Rifleman.

In December of 1942 Ira qualified Expert with the Army service rifle. His record shows that he was stationed at
Camp Shanks, New York in December 1942, which would be approximately the time he should have finished
Basic Training. He remained in the continental United States during 1943. Unfortunately the record of what duties
he performed during that year has been lost. He left the continental United States on April 8, 1944, arriving
in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) on April 19, 1944.

No record of him making the landing on Utah Beach on D-Day has been found and it is believed
he was assigned to the 22nd Infantry as a replacement shortly after D-Day, as the Regiment incurred
heavy casualties in the movement inland. His record shows he participated in the Normandy campaign,
which officially lasted from June 6 to July 24, 1944.

Ira was wounded for the first time on July 31, 1944 during Operation Cobra, the breakout from the Normandy
area. His Company, as part of 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry, was partnered with 2nd Battalion 66th Armor for
the Operation. On July 31 Ira and his Company were riding on tanks of the 66th Armor, dismounting and
fighting on foot alongside the tanks when meeting resistance from the Germans. First and Second Battalions
of the 22nd Infantry made a determined attack against the village of Villebaudon, an important crossroads town
on the way to Tessy. It was in this location where Ira received his first Purple Heart Medal for wounds received
in action. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge in General Orders Headquarters 22nd Infantry
GO # 14 dated November 2, 1944.

SGT Ira Robinson was wounded a second time in the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest on November 25, 1944.

On November 25, 1944 the 22nd Infantry Regiment was engaged in an attack toward the town of Grosshau. 1st Battalion
(of which Ira's Company C was a part) was tasked with securing a main road into the town while the other two Battalions
attacked the town itself. It was a day of heavy fighting and one on which the 22nd Infantry suffered one of its highest casualty days.
1st Battalion was not as hard hit as the other two Battalions, but it still suffered one killed and twenty-nine wounded. That one killed
was in Ira's Company C, along with seventeen of the wounded, so his Company was the hardest hit from 1st Battalion that day.

As one of those seventeen wounded in his Company that day, Ira was withdrawn from front line service, sent to the rear area,
and placed in hospital, where he spent over a year recovering from his wounds. He received his second Purple Heart Medal
with Oak Leaf Cluster while in the 228th Station Hospital in the ETO. He remained in hospital in Europe until well after the end
of the war, leaving Europe in December 1945, arriving in the United States on December 21, 1945.

Ira Robinson was discharged from the Army on December 27, 1945 at the Separation Center at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.
His Separation Qualification Record carried the following description in the box marked SUMMARY OF MILITARY OCCUPATIONS:

"RIFLEMAN: Served with the 22nd INF. Regiment in ETO. Was a member of a rifle squad
using M-1 rifle. Acted as assistant squad leader, seeing men were always in supplies and equipment."

Interestingly, Ira Robinson appears to have been transferred to the Army Air Force in 1945
most likely around the time the 22nd Infantry left Germany for the United States. It is the opinion
of the webmaster this was done because the 22nd Infantry was no longer in the theater of operations and,
since Ira was not yet able to be released from the hospital a unit of assignment was necessary for his records.
The last duty unit on his separation paper is listed as the 22nd Fighter Squadron 36th Fighter Group of the
Army Air Force, which at the time of Ira's discharge was still based in Germany. His Military Occupational Specialty
upon Separation from the Service is indicated as "Duty Soldier 520" which was an Administrative Duty position.
His Separation Paper was signed by 1st Lieutenant Mary J. Pickett, Women's Army Corps.

As can be attested to by the graphic below SGT Ira Robinson was a highly decorated combat veteran
of the 22nd Infantry. He served in five campaigns in Europe: the Normandy Campaign,
the Northern France Campaign, the Rhineland Campaign, the Ardennes-Alsace Campaign
and the Central Europe Campaign.

 

     

The decorations of
Sergeant Ira Robinson

Top: Combat Infantryman Badge

Row of Medals left to right:
Bronze Star Medal,
Purple Heart Medal
with oak leaf cluster,
Good Conduct Medal,
American Campaign Medal,
European-African-
Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
with five bronze service stars,
World War II Victory Medal,
Army of Occupation Medal
with Germany clasp

Row below the Medals:
Expert Qualification Badge for Rifle,
Presidential Unit Citation
with oak leaf cluster,
Discharge Button,
Three Overseas Service Bars

At the bottom: Belgian Fourragere

 

 

After leaving military service Ira Robinson attempted to lead a normal life, working as a truck driver for the Sugar Creek Creamery
back home in London, Arkansas and living with his wife, son and daughter. However, extreme Post Traumatic Stress problems
brought on by exposure to sustained heavy combat mandated he seek treatment and care. The term used in those days
for Ira's condition was called "shell shocked" and the treatment for it was drastic and harsh for the most part.

Three years after discharge from the Army Ira was put into assisted living twenty-four hour medical care.
Ira's son in law describes the life of this gallant soldier from 1948 onward:

"Ira was placed in the VA residency program and died in that same program. Ira was basically in the VA barracks
receiving medications to calm him until eventually they treated him with electro convulsive therapy - 1948 until 2005.
He never left the floor of the unit into which he was quartered. His daughter, my wife, took care of his personal needs.
Seasonal clothing, shaving gear, vienna sausage and two pocket shirts. Until his death, Ira maintained a military bearing,
high and tight, very clean shaven, military pleats ironed in his gear." ¹

 

Ira Robinson died at the Dardanelle Nursing Center in Dardanelle, Yell County, Arkansas on April 23, 2006.
He was preceded in death by his parents and four brothers, R. E. Cochran, Dewey Robinson, Naaman Cochran, and Jay Cochran.
Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law, Ira Douglas and Marcella Robinson of Soddy Daisy, Tennessee; his daughter and
son-in-law, Peggy and Al Mathis of Russellville; five grandchildren, David Mathis of Russellville, Hunter Mathis of England, Arkansas,
Bronson Mathis of Beebe, Kenny Robinson of Springdale, and Randall Robinson of Springdale; four great grandchildren, Bryson,
Colin, Hannah, and Hayden Mathis; and numerous nephews and nieces.

He was buried at East Point Cemetery at Russellville, London, Pope County, Arkansas on April 25, 2006
with full military honors.

 

Grave marker for Ira Robinson

The USAAF indication on his marker comes from the designation
of such on his Separation Paper, which apparently was the last unit he was
assigned to, done soley for administrative purposes. When applying to the
Veterans Administration for the construction of the grave marker, the
designation was carried over to the marker even though it does not
accurately reflect Ira's service. Ira served in the Army Infantry for all
of his 3 years in military service.

Photo by PARK from the Find A Grave website

 

 

 

 

 

¹ Conversation with Al Mathis, the son in law of Ira Robinson August 2015.

This memorial tribute to Ira Robinson prepared with the assistance of, and under
the direction of his loving daughter Peggy Mathis and her husband Al. Peggy and Al write:

"Peggy Mathis, daughter and Al Mathis, son-in-law, of Ira Robinson wish to make it known that Michael Belis, Webmaster 1-22 Infantry
should  receive accreditation as the principle narrator of Ira Robinsons military records that produced Ira's 22nd Infantry story.
  Michael eloquently outlined Ira's plight and brought his family to reality.  Thank you Michael."

 

 

 

 

 

 


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