The Pacolet Robinson Family and its Remarkable Military
Service to our Country
Dennis Robinson was a
classmate of mine in the 1955 Pacolet High School Graduating
Class. Upon graduation, Dennis joined the Air Force and served
during the Vietnam war. His family has an amazing
record of military service to the country. Dennis has been kind
enough to furnish his family story to go on the Pacolet Memories
website. We want to thank him for this and also thank the members of
his family for their service.
This is written to honor our
mother and father, Tennie and Lawrence Robinson, and to keep their
memories alive. May God bless them for all the sacrifices they made for
their family and their country!
The Lawrence (Tobe) Robinson
family set a record for Pacolet by having eight sons to serve in the
military. They had five sons serve during
World War II; all in service
at the same time. Tennie Ruff Robinson was presented, by Governor
D. Johnston, a Mother’s Eagle Pin with five stars for having five sons
in the armed services during WW II. Those five sons in WWII were
Hubert, Boyd, Lawrence Jr, William and EllieB (LB). The other sons that
served in the armed forces were Fred, Joe Dean and Dennis. That five
star pin has been passed down to each of the five sons. An article
written on June 21, 1959 in the Spartanburg
Herald-Journal titled “Pacolet
Parents See Eight Sons Leave For Service” by Barbara Crowe was an
interview of Lawrence and Tennie Robinson about their family and the
service of their sons. The eight sons article
depicts a brief summary
of the Robinson military history. Here I will give a brief
history of each of the eight brothers.
Hubert was in the Army and was in
the North African invasion in November 1942. In January 1944 his
company entered Italy during operation “SHINGLE” at the Anzio Beach
Head which is some 35 to 40 miles from Rome. They traveled about six
miles inland and met stiff resistance from the Germans. The Germans
sent reinforcements and it took from January to June to reach Rome.
History states that some of the most furious fighting of WW II took
place there during those months. His company had lost about half of
their men when Hubert was captured on June sixth 1944 near Rome. He was
paraded through Rome, put on a train and sent to a prison camp (Stalag
VII/A) near Munich, Germany. The German farmers came to the prison camp
to get prisoners to work on their farms. Since Hubert was a big man, he
was always first to be chosen. He was fed mostly cabbage soup, bread
and water. He had stomach problems the rest of his life. Back home,
afterwards, he could never stand to smell cabbage cooking or
sauerkraut. He got seriously sick one time while working on a farm, so
the guard marched him back to the prison camp, which was about three
miles, where the doctor examined him, gave him some medicine and the
guard marched him back to the farm. He was so ill he could hardly walk.
Hubert was liberated in May, 1945. He had lost over seventy pounds
while a prisoner. He was sent to Camp Lucky Strike near Paris, France
to recuperate. He returned to civilian life after the war.
Boyd was in the Army when the war
started and was training other solders. After the war started he was
shipped to the European theater to fight there. He was in Berlin,
Germany when the war ended and remained there for about three years
after the war during the occupation. Boyd remained in the Army after
the war was over and was sent to serve in the Korean War. He retired
from the Army with the highest enlisted rank.
Lawrence was in California when he
got notice to report to the Army. He served in the Pacific Theater
during the war. Lawrence was wounded during hand-to-hand combat when
the Japanese tried to overrun their position. He returned to civilian
life after the war. William served in the Navy and was a Gunner on a
destroyer during the war. He served in the Atlantic and Pacific
theaters. His ship was one of the big guns of the war. He returned to
civilian life after the war; went to college and got his degree.
EllieB (LB) served in the Navy as
a Gunner’s mate. He joined at a very young age of seventeen; said he
wanted to serve with his brother William. Their ships passed each other
one time over near Europe and LB got his signalman to signal that his
brother was on board. There was radio silence at the time. As a
Gunner’s mate he fired at enemy aircraft, submarines and launched
torpedoes. LB was wounded during a bombing raid while off loading his
ship in Belgium. LB served in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. LB was
in the Normandy invasion. After the war LB joined the Merchant Marines
and served as an AB Seaman (he drove the ship and had a license to
steer ships in any ocean) for about four years. He then joined the Army
and served a tour of duty in the Korean War.
Fred joined the Army in 1948 and
served in Germany (with a Ranger outfit) and in the Korean War. Fred
retired from the Army after serving about twenty two years.
Joe Dean joined the Navy and
served in the Pacific theater. He was also in the Korean War. He
returned to civilian life afterwards and settled in San Francisco.
Dennis joined the Air Force August 1, 1955 after graduating from
Pacolet High. He served in Europe and in the US where he was assigned
temporary duty all over the world and was in service during the Vietnam
War. During his tours in Germany, his outfit flew the Hungarian
refugees that came across to Germany to various locations in Europe to
find new homes. His outfit was in Florida during the Cuban missile
crisis where he served until the missile threat was over.
So the Lawrence Robinson family
had five sons in WW II, four sons in the Korean War and one during
Vietnam War. Along with two brothers-in-law that served in WW II and
Korean War. The last time all eight Robinson
Brothers were together was
1999. There are only two brothers living as of this writing. It’s
honor to be a part of the Robinson family and one of the eight brothers
which I admire very much.
May God bless Lawrence and Tennie
Robinson, all the mothers and fathers that made the ultimate sacrifice
for their country and all those who served! God bless the U. S. of A.
and may it always remain free.
brothers EllieB and Dennis, 2011)
The Robinson Family has an illustrious military history that goes back
to the very beginning of our country in the Revolutionary War. William
Sharp was a resident of the Grindal
Shoals area and a soldier in the
Revolution. He is the great, great, great grandfather of the Robinson
boys described in this article. He fought both in the Battle of Cowpens and the Battle of Kings Mountain.
This web site has been
started as a public service to share the
story of Pacolet. The web master and person to contact about putting
information on the web site is me, Gerald Teaster. Contact me at:
or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. My regular mail
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485