On This Day, 18-SEP 1950, We Honor a Fallen Hero

Robert Francis Wilson was born 12-25-1920 in Cape Girardeau MO.  Robert’s father was Jasper Ervin Wilson (1888-1958).  His mother was Billie Pearl Points (1898- ?).  Robert had three brothers; Robert, Billy and Clyth and one sister; Margaret.  Robert married Marie S. Sommer (1916-2015) of St. Paul Missouri in 1941 (1916-2015).  They had three children. Robert F. Wilson Jr., Sharon and Gregory. They lived at 423 West Clay, St. Charles MO.  Robert Francis Wilson enlisted in 1940 and served in Alaska during World War II.  After the war he was a recruiting Sergeant in St. Charles and Joplin.  

Robert F. Wilson went on to serve in Korea and the World War II.  His occupational specialty was light weapons assault infantryman.  Sergeant First Class Wilson was a member of the 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.  His service number was 20728234.  Robert would fight in the Battle of Pusan in South Korea. The Battle of Pusan Perimeter was a large-scale battle between United Nations and North Korean forces lasting from 4-AUG to 18-SEP 1950. The “Pusan Perimeter”, was a 140-mile defensive line around the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula. It was one of the first major engagements of the Korean War. An army of 140,000 UN troops, having been pushed to the brink of defeat, were rallied to make a final stand against the invading North Korean army of 98,000 men. At the end of the battle, each side had over 60,000 casualties of those killed, wounded or captured. 

Robert was Killed in Action while fighting the enemy in South Korea on 18-SEP 1950 the last day of the Battle of Pusan. Sergeant First Class Wilson was awarded a Silver Star for Gallantry, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal. Robert was posthumously promoted to Master Sergeant.  

Robert was interred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery nearly a year after his death on 18-JUL 1951.  

Wilson, Robert Francis (posthumous)
Headquarters, 1st Cavalry Division

General Orders No. 154 – November 14, 1950

The President of the United States of America (Harry S. Truman), authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant First Class Robert Francis Wilson (ASN: RA-20728234), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as a member of Company I, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, in action against the enemy on 18 September 1950 near Taegu, Korea. When the enemy, who had succeeded in effecting a penetration of his company’s defensive perimeter, attacked with hand grenades at very close range, Sergeant Wilson aggressively led his mortar section forward to plug the gap. Although the enemy had numerical superiority, Sergeant Wilson’s fearless conduct and exemplary leadership instilled such fury in his men that they hurled the enemy back. Then turning his attention to the wounded, Sergeant Wilson began to administer medical aid. When the enemy began placing mortar fire into the area, he remained with the wounded although his foxhole was only five yards away. It was while he was trying to comfort and save his wounded comrades that Sergeant Wilson was hit and killed instantly. Sergeant Wilson’s conspicuous gallantry and selfless consideration of others, at the cost of his own life, reflected great credit upon himself and his actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.

Robert Francis Wilson is honored and remembered at the St. Charles County Veterans Museum.  

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at sccvetsmuseum@gmail.com or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.