I have written about some of the truly remarkable people I’ve met and worked with before. Here is recognition of one of the very fine gentlemen I greatly admire:
Vice Admiral David Brooks Robinson, U.S. Navy (Retired).
ROBINSON, DAVID BROOKS
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy
Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Canon (PG-90)
Date of Action: August 11, 1970
Citation: The Navy Cross is presented to David Brooks Robinson, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer of the Patrol Gunboat, U.S.S. Canon (PG-90), during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 11 August 1970.
While Lieutenant Commander Robinson was directing his ship’s harassment and interdiction fire as the craft proceeded up the Bo De River, the ship suddenly came under intense enemy automatic weapons, rocket and small arms attack from an estimated forty-man force located in well-concealed positions in a mangrove swamp on both banks of the river. During the initial hail of enemy fire, Lieutenant Commander Robinson sustained a broken leg and numerous shrapnel wounds when a rocket exploded on the port side of the flying bridge.
Despite his serious wounds and loss of blood, he continued to direct his ship’s fire until the enemy attack was suppressed. Refusing medical evacuation, Lieutenant Commander Robinson submitted to first-aid treatment and then requested that he be strapped in a stretcher and placed in an upright position so that he could continue to direct the actions of his ship until it cleared the enemy ambush site.
Only after the ship was anchored at an advanced tactical support base and he was assured that his ship and crew were capable of continuing their assigned mission, did he allow himself to be medically evacuated.y his extraordinary courage, resolute fighting spirit and inspiring personal example in the face of a fierce enemy attack, Lieutenant Commander Robinson upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
USS CANON (PG-90) while underway on the Cua Lon was ambushed at 0920 from both banks of the river.
The ship received 8 B-40 rocket hits to port & starboard resulting in extensive damage to the bridge and 14 personnel casualties, including the CO.
Escorted by 2 PCF’s and an LSSL, CANON returned to SEAFLOAT where 5 personnel were medivaced.
Before allowing himself to be removed from the ship, the CO, LCDR David B. Robinson, had himself strapped to a stretcher so that he could inspect the ship to assure himself the ship and crew were safe and ready for further combat.
He then turned the ship over to the XO and was medevaced.
As a result of the action the C.O. LCDR Robinson and WO/SO, LTJG Robert S. Herbert were awarded the Navy Cross.
When VADM Robinson retired from the Navy in 1996, he told those assembled that when he was an Ensign, his wife crocheted something to hang on the kitchen wall. It read: “It is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice!”
See the gunboats of the U.S. Navy in the Vietnam war: