S2c James William Robinson


S2c James William Robinson

James William Robinson was born Oct. 10, 1923 in Howard County in west-central Texas. His mother, Beemie Neel Robinson, was a homemaker and his father, Olin Robinson, a butcher at a slaughterhouse. They also had two older daughters.

One daughter was nine when she died in 1929 of kidney disease.

By April 1935 the family was living in Big Spring in Howard County about 110 miles north of Houston. Sometime between April 1, 1935 and 1938 James, his mother, and his sister moved to California.

His father was killed on New Year’s Day 1939 when his car, stopped on a railroad track near Midland, Texas, was struck by a passenger train.

The spring 1940 Census said William and his mother lived in the Los Angeles household of his by-then married sister and her family. James had completed one year of high school and was still enrolled. His mother was a clerk at a pie shop, earning $480 for 52 weeks of work in 1939.

Young Mr. Robinson enlisted in the Navy on Jan. 18, 1941. He was a seaman second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu.


Sources: Big Spring (Texas) Daily Herald; Census; Navy muster roll; Texas death certificates. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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