History Podcasts

Robert L Wilson DD-847 - History

Robert L Wilson DD-847 - History

Robert L Wilson DD-847

Robert L. Wilson(DD-847: dp. 2,425, 1. 390'6", b. 41'1", dr. 18'6", s. 35 k.cpl. 367; a. 6 5", 10 20mm., 10 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.;cl. Gearing)Robert L. Wilson (DD-847) was laid down by the Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine, 2 July 1945; launched 5 January 1946, sponsored by Mrs. Joe Wilson; and commissioned in the Boston Navy Yard 28 March 1946, Comdr. John T. Probaseo, in command.Following shakedown in Cuban waters, Robert L. Wilson sailed from Norfolk 23 July 1946 for a 6-month tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Returning to the United States in February 1947, she spent the next 2 years based at Newport, R.I., operating off the Atlantic Coast and in the Caribbean.After overhaul at Boston, she stood out of Hampton Roads on a midshipman cruise to Plymouth, England; Cherbourg, France; and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On 4 March 1950 Robert L. Wilson was redesignated an escort destroyer (DDE847). She finished out the year with a midshipman training cruise to Northern Europe, duty in the Mediterranean which included special antisubmarine warfare demonstrations, and hunter-killer operations along the eastern seaboard from Norfolk.On 1 January 1951, as the result of a fleet reorganization, Robert L. Wilson became a unit of F,scort Squadron 4 and hoisted the pennant of Commander, Escort Division 4i. By 30 June 1960, she had completed eight tours of service in the Mediterranean since commissioning, provided training for cadets of the U.S. Military Academy along the eastern seaboard, and conducted the annual summer midshipmen cruises for the U.S. Naval Academy, stressing antisubmarine tactics. On 1 July 1956, she was assigned to the newly established Destroyer Squadron 36, composed of destroyer escort types specially configured for antisubmarine missions and yet maintaining the capability to handle all destroyer missions. During the last week of November and the early part of December 1959, Robert L. Wilson and two other escort destroyers participated inOperation "Monsoon," manning sea-air rescue stations for the Presidential flight to Europe from the United States. She then operated in the western Atlantic and Caribbean until a Norfolk Navy Yard overhaul in the summer of 1960.Rehlrning to Caribbean and Atlantic operations, in January 1961 Robert L. Wilson pursued Portuguese liner SS Santa Maria which had been seized by a group of revolutionaries. An 8-day chase took Wilson across the equator to Recife,Brazil. Returning to Norfolk, Wilson underwent a month of preparation, then departed on 8 June for her ninth Mediterranean cruise. She spent the fal1 and winter of 1961 operating in the western Atlantic out of Norfolk.In January 1962, Wilson participated in recovery operations for a Projeet Mereury manned space capsule. Wilson deployed with Task Group Bravo to Northern Europe in February, returning to Norfolk in mid-June 1962. On 1 August 1962 she was again classified DD-847. In September of 1962 Wilson and the other ships of Destroyer Division 362 deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as a unit under the command of the Naval Base Commander for the purpose of base defense, and was at Guantanamo and in adjacent waters during the Cuban Crisis in October. Wilson returned to Norfolk in late November and operated locally until March 1963 when she entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard for a FRAM I modernization. Emerging from her overhaul period in 1964 she continued to serve with the Atlantic Fleet for the balance of that year and throughout 1965.After serving as gunfire support ship at Guantanamo Bav Cuba, in late January and early February 1966, Robert L Wilson was assigned the abort station fo" the first unmanned Apollo space shot. In April and June she was rescue destroyer for Wasp (CVS-18), prime recovery ship for the Gemirfi 9 space mission. Following ASW exercises, she made her 12th deployment to the Mediterranean 22 July 1966, returning to Norfolk 17 December. Following service as Schoolship for the Fleet Sonar School in January and February, Wilson spent the rest of 1967 operating in the Allantie and Caribbean.Robert L. Wilson continued these operations until May 1968 when she joined the search for nuclear submarine Scorpion searching the continental shelf off the coast of Norfolk an] then following the Scorpion's track back to her last reported position southwest of the Azores without sueeess. Returning to Norfolk 13 June, Wilson operated in the Atlantic until steaming 6 September for a western Pacific deployment.Touching at San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guam, and Subie Bay, Robert L. Wilson took up a naval gunfire support mission 36 miles south of Hue, the ancient capital of South Vietnam. She then undertook search and rescue duty in the Gulf of Tonkin after 28 October, destroying two sampans with .50 caliber machinegun fire and harld grenades. In early November Wilson was assigned as plane guard for Constellation (CVA-64) on Yankee Station. She remained in the Far East through the end of the year.Wilson returned to San Diego from the Far East 27 March 1969, and operated off the west coast until transiting the Panama Canal and arriving Norfolk 21 June. She then operated in the western Atlantic and Caribbean until deploying to the Mediterranean on 5 March 1970. During this Mediterranean cruise, Robert L. Wilson participated in two combined NATO exercises, DAWN PATROL and MEDTACEX, and was, for a time, diverted to the Levantine Basine due to another Middle East crisis. She returned to Norfolk 16 September for a leave, upkeep, and training eyele which continued to the end of the year.Upon completion of overhaul, refresher training, and other operations in the Atlantic, Robert L. Wilson commenced another deployment to the Sixth Fleet, departing from Norfolk 17 September. After six months away from Norfolk, she returned 17 March 1972 and completed the year operating out of that port. This employment continued throughout 1973 and 1974 finds Robert L. Wilson in port at her new home port, Phfladelphia, Pa.Robert L. Wilson earned three battle stars for service in the Vietnam conflict.


USS Robert L. Wilson (DD-847)

USS Robert L. Wilson (DD/DDE-847) was a Gearing-class destroyer of the United States Navy, named for Marine Private First Class Robert L. Wilson (1920�), who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry" in the Battle of Tinian.

The Gearing class was a series of 98 destroyers built for the U.S. Navy during and shortly after World War II. The Gearing design was a minor modification of the Allen M. Sumner class , whereby the hull was lengthened by 14 ft (4.3 m) at amidships, which resulted in more fuel storage space and increased the operating range.

In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were originally developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, and by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" (TBDs) were "large, swift, and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been generally shortened to simply "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War.

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March�, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.


USS Robert L. Wilson DD/DDE 847

can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction,

I served in the United States Navy&rdquo

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

USS Robert L. Wilson DD 847 was laid down by the Bath Iron Works Corporation of Bath, Maine on 2 July 1945. The USS Robert L. Wilson DD 847 was launched 5 January 1946. The Wilson was commissioned at the Boston Naval Shipyard on 28 March 1946 with Commander John T. Probasco, USN in command. The sponsor was Mrs. Joe Wilson, mother of Private First Class Wilson. The commissioning ceremony marked the transition from construction to active service as a unit of the United States Fleet. At the moment of the hoisting of the Commissioning Pennant, The USS Robert L. Wilson DD 847 became the responsibility of her Commanding Officer. He, together with the officers and crew, took on the duty of making her and keeping her constantly ready for any active service demanded by her country in war or in peace.

Robert Lee Wilson, in whose honor the USS Robert L. Wilson was named, was born in Centralia, Illinois on 24 March 1921. He enlisted in the Marine Corps at Chicago on 9 September 1941 and was called to active duty on 12 September 1941. He received his training at the Marine Corps Base, U.S. Naval Operating Base, San Diego, California. Upon completion of this vigorous training, he was sent to the forward area on 20 January 1942. While serving with the First Marine Division in August 1942, he was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation during action on Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands. Again in November 1943, with the Second Marine Division, he was awarded a second Presidential Unit Citation for outstanding performance in combat on Tarawa of the Gilbert Islands. Private First Class Wilson also wore the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the Purple Heart and a Gold Star in lieu of a second Purple Heart. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously with the following citation.

&ldquoFor conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Second Battalion, Sixth Marines, Second Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Tinian Island, Marianas Group on 3 August 1944. As one of a group of Marines advancing through heavy underbrush to neutralize isolated points of resistance, Private First Class Wilson daringly preceded his companions toward a pile of rocks where Japanese troops were supposed to be hiding. Fully aware of the danger involved, he was moving forward while the remainder of the squad armed with automatic rifles closed together in the rear, when an enemy grenade landed in the midst of the group. Quick to act, Private First Class Wilson cried a warning to the men and unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade, heroically sacrificing his own life that the others might live and fulfill their mission. His exceptional valor, courageous loyalty and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave peril reflect the highest credit upon Private First Class Wilson and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.&rdquo

Following a shakedown cruise in Cuban waters, USS Robert L. Wilson sailed from Norfolk, VA on 23 July, 1946 for a six-month tour of duty with the 6 th Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. She returned to the United States in February of 1947, spending the next two years based at Newport, RI. During this time, she operated off the Atlantic Coast and in the Caribbean Sea.

After being overhauled at the Boston Navy Yard, she stood out of Hampton Roads, VA on a midshipmen cruise to Plymouth, England Cherbourg, France and Guatanamo Bay, Cuba. On 4 March 1950, USS Robert L. Wilson was redesignated an Escort Destroyer, DDE 847. She finished out the year with a midshipmen-training cruise to Northern Europe and duty in the Mediterranean Sea. This cruise included special anti-submarine warfare demonstrations and hunter-killer operations along the United States Eastern Seaboard out of Norfolk, VA.

On 1 January 1951, as a result of fleet reorganization, USS Robert L. Wilson became a unit of Escort Squadron 4 and hoisted the pennant of Commander, Escort Division 42. By 30 June 1960, she had completed eight tours of service in the Mediterranean Sea since commissioning, provided training for cadets of the U.S. Military Academy and conducting the annual summer midshipmen cruises for the U.S. Naval Academy, always stressing anti-submarine tactics. On 1 July 1956, she was assigned to the newly established Destroyer Squadron 36. This squadron was composed of destroyer escort type ships that were specially configured for anti-submarine missions while still maintaining the capability of handling all destroyer missions. During the last week of November and the early part of December 1959, USS Robert L. Wilson and two other escort destroyers participated in &ldquoOperation Monsoon,&rdquo manning sea-air rescue stations for the presidential flight to Europe from the United States. She then operated in the Western Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea until she went into Norfolk Navy Yard for overhaul in the summer of 1960. A shakedown cruise and crew training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, followed this overhaul.

Returning to the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean operations in January 1961, USS Robert L. Wilson pursued the Portuguese liner SS Santa Maria that had been seized by a group of revolutionaries. An 8-day chase took Wilson across the equator to Recife, Brazil. Returning to Norfolk, Wilson underwent a month of preparation, then departed on 8 June for her ninth Mediterranean cruise. She spent the fall and winter of 1961 operating in the Western Atlantic out of Norfolk.

In January 1962, Wilson participated in recovery operations for the Project Mercury manned space capsule. Wilson deployed with Task Group Bravo to Northern Europe in February, returning to Norfolk in mid-June 1962. Wilson and the other ships of Destroyer Division 362 deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as a unit under the command of the Naval Base Commander for the purpose of base defense. She was at Guantanamo Bay and in adjacent waters during late November 1962 and operated locally until March 1963 when she entered the Phildelphia Naval Shipyard for a FRAM I modernization. Emerging from her overhaul period in 1964, she continued to serve with the Atlantic Fleet for the balance of that year and throughout 1965.

After serving as gunfire support ship at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in late January and early February 1966, USS Robert L. Wilson was assigned the abort station for the first unmanned Apollo space shot. In April and June 1966, she was rescue destroyer for USS Wasp CVS-18, prime recovery ship for the Gemini 9 space mission. Following ASW exercises, she made her twelfth deployment to the Mediterranean on 22 July 1966, returning to on Norfolk 17 December 1966. Following service as school-ship for the Fleet Sonar School in January and February, Wilson spent the rest of 1967 operating in the Atlantic and the Caribean Sea.

USS Robert L. Wilson continued these operations until May 1968 when she joined the search for nuclear submarine Scorpion. She searched the continental shelf off the coast of Norfolk and the followed the Scorpion&rsquos track back to her last reported position Southwest of the Azores without success. Returning to Norfolk on 13 June 1968, Wilson operated in the Atlantic until steaming on 6 September 1968 for a Western Pacific deployment.

Touching at San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guam, and Subic Bay, USS Robert L. Wilson took up a naval gunfire support mission 36 miles south of Hue, the ancient capital of South Vietnam. She then undertook search and rescue duty in the Gulf of Tonkin after 28 October 1968, destroying two sampans with .50 caliber machinegun fire and hand grenades. In early November1968, Wilson was assigned as plane guard for USS Constellation CVA-64 on Yankee Station. She remained in the Far East through the end of the year.

Wilson returned to San Diego from the Far East on 27 March 1969, and operated off the West Coast until transiting the Panama Canal and arriving in Norfolk on 21 June 1969. She then operated in the Western Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea until deploying to the Mediterranean Sea on 5 March 1970. During this Mediterranean cruise, USS Robert L. Wilson participated in two combined NATO exercises DAWN PATROL and MEDTACEX. She was, for a time, diverted to the Levantine Basine due to another Middle East crisis. She returned to Norfolk 16 September 1970 for a leave, upkeep, and training cycle, which continued until the end of the year.

Upon completion of overhaul, refresher training and other operations in the Atlantic, USS Robert L. Wilson commenced another deployment to the Sixth Fleet, departing from Norfolk 17 September 1971. After six months away, she returned 17 March 1972 and completed the year operating out of Norfolk. She continued to operate out of Norfolk throughout 1973 and 1974. She was then assigned a new homeport in Philadelphia, PA. This proved to the last port for this U.S. Navy warship. She was decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on 30 September 1974. Although designated as a target for destruction in July of 1976 and relocated to Norfolk, VA, it was not until 25 January 1980 that she was sunk as a target in 3,010 fathoms (18,060 ft) of water. Her final resting place is at location 020 Degrees, 00 Minutes, 00.7 Seconds North Latitude and 062 Degrees, 00 Minutes, 00.2 Seconds East Longitude, 286 miles NE of San Juan PR, 857 miles East of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and 1227 miles SE of Miami, Florida in the Atlantic Ocean. These were the same waters where she had sailed in for so many years, completed countless successful missions on behalf of the United States of America and provided a safe home for so many U.S. Navy sailors.

The USS Robert L. Wilson DD/DDE 847 was born out of the greatest war known to man, and served the country that created and manned her, during peacetime and wartime, for over 28 years. The USS Robert L. Wilson DD/DDE 847 earned three battle stars for service in the Vietnam conflict and the eternal respect of those who served aboard her.

As a lasting testimony to her and the friendship shared by her crew, the USS Robert L. Wilson DD/DDE 847 Association was founded in 1982 in Norfolk, VA. The association members, spouses and guests continue to meet annually for fun, relaxation and especially to swap sea-stories about their adventurous days aboard the &ldquoWilly Boat.&rdquo

Compiled by John E. Scully, former Seaman & Fire Control Technician 3 rd Class aboard the USS Robert L. Wilson, 1960-1962 and former President and Secretary/Treasurer of the USS Robert L. Wilson DD/DDE 847 Association.


Medal of Honor citation [ edit | edit source ]

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS ROBERT L. WILSON
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Second Battalion, Sixth Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Tinian Island, Marianas Group, on August 3, 1944. As one of a group of Marines advancing through heavy underbrush to neutralize isolated points of resistance, Private First Class Wilson daringly preceded his companions toward a pile of rocks where Japanese troops were supposed to be hiding. Fully aware of the danger involved, he was moving forward while the remainder of the squad armed with automatic rifles closed together in the rear, when an enemy grenade landed in the midst of the group. Quick to act, Private First Class Wilson cried a warning to the men and unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade, heroically sacrificing his own life so that the others might live and fulfill their mission. His exceptional valor, courageous loyalty and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave peril reflect the highest credit upon Private First Class Wilson and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


Robert L Wilson DD-847 - History

Robert Lee Wilson was born on 21 May 1920 in Centralia, Illinois. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps from that state in September 1941. Following recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at San Diego, California, he went to the Pacific for combat duty against the Japanese. Between August 1942 and mid-1944, Wilson participated in the Guadalcanal Campaign, the bloody fight for Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands and the invasion of the Marianas. He also received promotion to Private First Class.

On 3 August 1944 Wilson was serving with the Second Battalion, Sixth Marines, Second Marine Division in combat on Tinian Island, Marianas Group. While advancing through heavy underbrush to neutralize Japanese resistance, an enemy grenade suddenly landed amid his group of Marines. Warning his comrades, Wilson threw himself on the grenade, sacrificing his life to save the others. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Robert L. Wilson is buried at Hillcrest Memorial Park, Centralia, Illinois.

USS Robert L. Wilson (DD-847), 1946-1980, was named in honor of Private First Class Robert L. Wilson.

This page features the only image we have concerning Robert L. Wilson.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the "Online Library's" digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image .

Private First Class Robert L. Wilson, USMC

Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 283.
Robert L. Wilson was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" while serving with the Second Battalion, Sixth Marines, Second Marine Division in action against the Japanese at Tinian Island, Marianas Group on 4 August 1944.


Robert L Wilson DD-847 - History

(DD-847: dp. 2,425, l. 390'6", b. 41'1", dr. 18'6", s. 35 k. cpl. 367 a. 6 5", 10 20mm., 10 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct. cl. Gearing)

Robert L. Wilson (DD-847) was laid down by the Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine, 2 July 1945 launched 5 January 1946, sponsored by Mrs. Joe Wilson and commissioned in the Boston Navy Yard 28 March 1946, Comdr. John T. Probasco, in command.

Following shakedown in Cuban waters, Robert L. Wilson sailed from Norfolk 23 July 1946 for a 6-month tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Returning to the United States in February 1947, she spent the next 2 years based at Newport, R.I., operating off the Atlantic Coast and in the Caribbean.

After overhaul at Boston, she stood out of Hampton Roads on a midshipman cruise to Plymouth, England Cherbourg, France and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On 4 March 1950 Robert L. Wilson was redesignated an escort destroyer (DDE-847). She finished out the year with a midshipman training cruise to Northern Europe, duty in the Mediterranean which included special antisubmarine warfare demonstrations, and hunter-killer operations along the eastern seaboard from Norfolk.

On 1 January 1951, as the result of a fleet reorganization, Robert L. Wilson became a unit of Escort Squadron 4 and hoisted the pennant of Commander, Escort Division 42. By 30 June 1960, she had completed eight tours of service in the Mediterranean since commissioning, provided training for cadets of the U.S. Military Academy along the eastern seaboard, and conducted the annual summer midshipmen cruises for the U.S. Naval Academy, stressing antisubmarine tactics. On 1 July 1956, she was assigned to the newly established Destroyer Squadron 36, composed of destroyer escort types specially configured for antisubmarine missions and yet maintaining the capability to handle all destroyer missions. During the last week of November and the early part of December 1959, Robert L. Wilson and two other escort destroyers participated in Operation "Monsoon," manning sea-air rescue stations for the Presidential flight to Europe from the United States. She then operated in the western Atlantic and Caribbean until a Norfolk Navy Yard overhaul in the summer of 1960.

Returning to Caribbean and Atlantic operations, in January 1961 Robert L. Wilson pursued Portuguese liner SS Santa Maria which had been seized by a group of revolutionaries. An 8-day chase took Wilson across the equator to Recife,Brazil. Returning to Norfolk, Wilson underwent a month of preparation, then departed on 8 June for her ninth Mediterranean cruise. She spent the fall and winter of 1961 operating in the western Atlantic out of Norfolk.

In January 1962, Wilson participated in recovery operations for a Project Mercury manned space capsule. Wilson deployed with Task Group Bravo to Northern Europe in February, returning to Norfolk in mid-June 1962. On 1 August 1962 she was again classified DD-847. In September of 1962 Wilson and the other ships of Destroyer Division 362 deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as a unit under the command of the Naval Base Commander for the purpose of base defense, and was at Guantanamo and in adjacent waters during the Cuban Crisis in October. Wilson returned to Norfolk in late November and operated locally until March 1963 when she entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard for a FRAM I modernization. Emerging from her overhaul period in 1964 she continued to serve with the Atlantic Fleet for the balance of that year and throughout 1965.

After serving as gunfire support ship at Guantanamo Bay Cuba, in late January and early February 1966, Robert L Wilson was assigned the abort station for the first unmanned Apollo space shot. In April and June she was rescue destroyer for Wasp (CVS-18), prime recovery ship for the Gemini 9 space mission. Following ASW exercises, she made her 12th deployment to the Mediterranean 22 July 1966, returning to Norfolk 17 December. Following service as School ship for the Fleet Sonar School in January and February, Wilson spent the rest of 1967 operating in the Atlantic and Caribbean.

Robert L. Wilson continued these operations until May 1968 when she joined the search for nuclear submarine Scorpion searching the continental shelf off the coast of Norfolk and then following the Scorpion's track back to her last reported position southwest of the Azores without success. Returning to Norfolk 13 June, Wilson operated in the Atlantic until steaming 6 September for a western Pacific deployment.

Touching at San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guam, and Subic Bay, Robert L. Wilson took up a naval gunfire support mission 36 miles south of Hue, the ancient capital of South Vietnam. She then undertook search and rescue duty in the Gulf of Tonkin after 28 October, destroying two sampans with .50 caliber machine gun fire and hand grenades. In early November Wilson was assigned as plane guard for Constellation (CVA-64) on Yankee Station. She remained in the Far East through the end of the year.

Wilson returned to San Diego from the Far East 27 March 1969, and operated off the west coast until transiting the Panama Canal and arriving Norfolk 21 June. She then operated in the western Atlantic and Caribbean until deploying to the Mediterranean on 5 March 1970. During this Mediterranean cruise, Robert L. Wilson participated in two combined NATO exercises, DAWN PATROL and MEDTACEX, and was, for a time, diverted to the Levantine Basine due to another Middle East crisis. She returned to Norfolk 16 September for a leave, upkeep, and training cycle which continued to the end of the year.

Upon completion of overhaul, refresher training, and other operations in the Atlantic, Robert L. Wilson commenced another deployment to the Sixth Fleet, departing from Norfolk 17 September. After six months away from Norfolk, she returned 17 March 1972 and completed the year operating out of that port. This employment continued throughout 1973 and 1974 finds Robert L. Wilson in port at her new home port, Philadelphia, Pa.

Robert L. Wilson earned three battle stars for service in the Vietnam conflict.


Robert Lee Wilson (1920 - 1944)

Private First Class Robert Lee Wilson, 23, of Illinois was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism at the cost of his life, 3 August 1944, in the Marianas.

The young Marine who died on Tinian was awarded our Nation's highest award for saving the lives of his comrades by throwing himself on an enemy hand grenade immediately before it exploded in their midst.

Robert Lee Wilson was born 21 May 1920 in Centralia, Illinois, and enlisted in the Marine Corps, 9 September 1941. He went to Chicago then to San Diego, California, for training.

At the time of his death, PFC Wilson served with Company D, 2d Pioneer Battalion, 18th Marines, 2d Marine Division. He fought in practically every major engagement in the Pacific until the day of his death. A Presidential Unit Citation signed by Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy, dated 4 February 1943, was awarded him as a member of the 1st Marine Division (Reinforced), in the Solomons in August 1942.

Serving with the 2d Marine Division (Reinforced), PFC Wilson received a second Presidential Unit Citation signed by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal "for outstanding performance of duty in combat during the seizure and occupation of the Japanese held Atoll of Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, 20-24 November 1943." In addition, PFC Wilson received the Purple Heart with one gold star.

One of eight children, PFC Wilson was considered his father's right hand man around the farm, before enlisting in the fall of 1941. "He was one of the best workers I ever saw," the boy's father said when speaking of his 23-year-old son. "None of my boys believed in waiting for the draft. They volunteered," he added.

The Medal of Honor was presented to his mother at a ceremony held on 26 July 1945, at the American Legion cottage in Centralia.

Private First Class Wilson was initially buried in the military cemetery on Tinian, but was reinterred in Hillcrest Cemetery, Centralia, Illinois, in 1948.

The Gearing class destroyer, USS Robert L. Wilson (DD-847) was launched on January 5, 1946. The USS Robert Wilson earned three battle stars for service during the Vietnam War. She was decommissioned on September 30, 1974.


Robert L Wilson DD-847 - History

Aerial Photo of Santa Maria by Hurricane Hunters



Still More
Aerial Photographs

taken by Life Magazine

during the Santa Maria
pirating incident



First Encounter with
Santa Maria at Sea



Santa Maria
Photo by John Lemongelli



Troops Prepare
for the Worst

Gearing Launch Leaves
for Santa Maria


Negotiations Proceed



Idiot Parachutist from
Paris Match Magazine
[Read the full story]



Ken Kollai "Demands
Galvao's Surrender."


Santa Maria Docked in Recife


Galvao Surrenders
to Brazilian Authorities


Galvao's Press
Conference in Recife

Henry Zeiger's

History of Chase
in Acrobat

Photos of
Santa Maria Incident
from
Solant Amity Cruise Book


How We Recaptured
the Pirated Vessel
Santa Maria

USS Gearing's

***DD-710 Travel Log

Admin Remarks****
LCDR S.F. McMurray,

Timeline
Split Resouces
Congo-Santa Maria
Eastern & Western
South Atlantic
Incidents

All the photos of
3rd Platoon
while aboard the
U.S.S. Gearing DD-710


3rd Herd returns to
the Graham County

* Familygrams #4 and #5 were sent to the families of Gearing's crew, including Marines, by Captain, CDR J. E. Tingle . #4 was furnished to website by former L/Cpl James J. McCarthy and #5 by then Pfc. BARman Trevor E. Davies, who left the Corps in 1965 as a Corporal.
** Copy of "Personal" form letter provided by Captain Tingle of the USS Gearing to families of Marine crew, each member was provided an opportunity to add personal comments before sending it. Great concept.
***Travel Logs: 3rd Platoon, G-2-6 AND the USS Gearing provided by then L/Cpl George Bitsoli. Please note the discrepancy: the 3rd Herd's log omitted a refueling stop in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Gearing arrived 2100 on 26Jan61 and departed 1100 on 27Jan61, sailing then to intercept the Santa Maria.
****Administrative Remarks of Gearing's Executive Officer. Provided by then Pfc. Joseph Teklits. Another copy with same content was obtained from former L/Cpl James J. McCarthy. Thank you both.

I f you've any questions or can add anything to enhance this page, please contact the site webmaster .

To Home page. Meet the 1st Platoon 2nd Platoon 3rd Platoon Weapons Platoon or Headquarters and H&S Personnel. See Solant Amity Cruise or r ead the Comments of visitors to the site or a tribute to the Marines aboard the Hermitage or of the Corp's Discipline Problems in the 1970s. Or, perhaps you would just like to see some recent photos of the Corps' Parris Island Training Center or an array of Military Anecdotes from the 60's . Then , maybe you'd just like to see some Links and Things.


Robert L Wilson DD-847 - History

USS Robert L. Wilson DD/DDE 847 Association
Commissioned 1946 - Decommissioned 1974

  • Lifetime Members
  • First Time Visitors
  • Home Page
  • Past Reunions
    • 2016 Myrtle Beach, SC
    • 2015 Nashville, TN
    • 2014 Groton, CT
    • 2013 Jacksonville FL
    • 2012 Norfolk VA
    • 2011 San Diego CA
    • 2010 St Louis MO
    • 2009 Charleston SC
    • 2008 Honalulu HI
    • 2007 Las Vegas NV
    • 2006 Chicago IL
    • 2005 Washington DC
    • 2004 San Antonio TX
    • 2003 Savannah GA
    • 2002 Kissimmee FL
    • 2001 Niagara Falls NY
    • 1999 Hampton VA
    • 1998 Lancaster PA
    • 1997 Baton Rouge LA
    • 1996 Norfolk VA
    • 1995 Myrtle Beach VA

    • Current Officers
    • By-Laws 2017
    • Ship's History
    • Annual Meeting Minutes
      • Minutes 2017 - Columbus, GA
      • Minutes 2016 - Myrtle Beach
      • Minutes 2013 - Jacksonville, FL
      • Minutes 2012 - Norfolk, VA
      • Minutes 2011 - San Diego, CA
      • Minutes 2010 - St. Louis, MO
      • Minutes 2009 - Charleston, SC
      • Minutes 2008 - Honalulu, HI
      • Minutes 1998 - Lancaster, PA

      The USS Robert L. Wilson DD/DDE 847 Association

      Tin Can Sailors 2021 Reunion Scheduled for

      August 29 - September 2, 2021 hasbeen cancelled.

      If you have any questions, please contact me at

      [email protected]

      The USS Robert L. Wilson Association is a Navy veterans' organization whose mission it is to preserve the history of that ship and all who served in her. We encourage and support interest in the US Navy, and support all who serve in the sea services. It is dedicated to the officers and men who served aboard the "Willy Boat" from 1946 to 1974. A time period known as the Cold War. Accordingly, she is called a Cold War Warrior.

      This website is our means of communication to all who seek us. It replaced our former website, which was maintained by Shipmate Gerold Ricks, on WebTV in early 2014.

      Though our ship is long gone, we, the ship's crew, still meet annually for muster to share and enjoy our camaraderie.


      Robert Wilson may refer to.

      Unionpedia is a concept map or semantic network organized like an encyclopedia – dictionary. It gives a brief definition of each concept and its relationships.

      This is a giant online mental map that serves as a basis for concept diagrams. It's free to use and each article or document can be downloaded. It's a tool, resource or reference for study, research, education, learning or teaching, that can be used by teachers, educators, pupils or students for the academic world: for school, primary, secondary, high school, middle, technical degree, college, university, undergraduate, master's or doctoral degrees for papers, reports, projects, ideas, documentation, surveys, summaries, or thesis. Here is the definition, explanation, description, or the meaning of each significant on which you need information, and a list of their associated concepts as a glossary. Available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Dutch, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, Swedish, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Catalan, Czech, Hebrew, Danish, Finnish, Indonesian, Norwegian, Romanian, Turkish, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Greek, Bulgarian, Croatian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Filipino, Latvian, Estonian and Slovenian. More languages soon.

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      Watch the video: Mom Installs Camera, Sees Why Shes Always Tired (January 2022).