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The Normandy American Heroes Blog

World War Two, Normandy and More

American Hero: Electrician's Mate Lige Robinson Jr. Killed in Line of Duty

Posted by Rodolphe Passera on May 31, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Lige Robinson Jr. (nicknamed "Junior") was from Kansas city. He joined the U.S Navy in November 1942. After graduating from Wyandotte High School, he worked as an electrician helper for the Rock Island Railroad with his father. He had two sisters, Betty and Olive, and was a good friend of Betty's boyfriend Claude, who was also in the U.S. Navy.

 

 

This photo of Lige was taken in 1943

The last time Claude saw Junior was in Norfolk Virginia; then, Junior went to England and Claude was sent to the South Pacific. Junior was Electrician's Mate Third Class aboard the YMS-350 Minesweeper. A minesweeper is a small naval warship used for minesweeping. Using various mechanisms intended to counter the threat posed by naval mines, waterways are maintained clear for safe shipping.

 

A photo of a Minesweeper (source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YMS-1-class_minesweeper#/media/File:Yms324.png)

The YMS-350 Minesweeper had swept mines near Omaha Beach hours before the first allied landings on June 6th 1944.

On July 2nd 1944, YMS 350 was off the coast of Cherbourg, Normandy when it hit a german mine. The warship was sunk. Junior was below deck at the time and had no chance to survive. He was only 21 years old. His family learned of his death by telegraph.

Lige "Junior" Robinson, Jr. was buried in Normandy at the American temporary cemetery number 2 in Sainte Mere Eglise, among 5000 soldiers until 1948.

 

This cemetery was one of the twelve temporary cemeteries built during World War II by the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps Graves Registration Service. In 1948, all interments were cleared and either repatriated to the U.S. for disposition according to family wishes or re-interred in one of the American Battle Monuments Commission cemeteries in Europe— usually closest to where the soldier, sailor, or airman died. Most of the casualties interred in Sainte Mere Eglise temporary cemeteries were moved to the Normandy American Cemetery at Omaha Beach.

 

 

Temporary cemetery number 2 Sainte Mère Eglise

Junior was buried in September 1948 in the States at the Highland Park cemetery in Kansas City. In Sainte Mère Eglise, many years later, the land was sold and a commercial area was built. In 2012, levelling work were made and it pulled an item up off the ground. It was Junior's dog-tag; it had stayed 68 years in the ground. After several weeks of searching,  his family was found in the USA.

Unfortunately, Junior's younger sister Betty passed away in 2007, but her husband Claude was still alive. The dog-tag came back to the family and now is hung with Junior's picture on Claude's living room wall.

  

PEOPLE ON BOARD USS YMS-350123

DEAN, ROBERT SMITH , CoxswainUS Navy Reserve, killed in action, declared dead July 2, 1944.

INKLE, MELVIN CALVIN , Ship's Cook First Class US Navy, killed in action, declared dead July 2, 1944.

JANDRON, RICH L , Gunner's Mate Third Class, died of wounds, July 9, 1944, declared dead July 9, 1944.

MURRAY, WALTER HAYWOOD , Chief Pharmacist's Mate US Navy,declared dead July 2, 1944.

ROBINSON, LIGE , Electrician's Mate Third Class US Navy Reserve, died in landing and occupation, declared dead July 2, 1944.

WALSH, WILLIAM THOMAS , Motor Machinist's Mate Third Class US Navy Reserve, died in landing and occupation, declared dead July 2, 1944.

 

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