3:31 PM

May this Hero Rest in Peace

Posted by Jayne Cobb's Hat (Artist fka TSO) |

Today one of our heroes answers roll call at the big muster in the sky, as Robert B. Nett passed away yesterday. Robert creased his birth certificate to obscure his age (17) and joined the US Army in 1940. He hailed from New Haven, Connecticut, and soon found himself in the Philipines, where he met his future wife, Frances who was serving there as an Army Nurse.

By December 14, 1944, Nett was a lieutenant in Company E of the 305th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division, and found himself fighting in the Battle of Ormoc Bay.

He commanded Company E in an attack against a reinforced enemy battalion which had held up the American advance for 2 days from its entrenched positions around a 3-story concrete building. With another infantry company and armored vehicles, Company E advanced against heavy machinegun and other automatic weapons fire with Lt. Nett spearheading the assault against the strongpoint. During the fierce hand-to-hand encounter which ensued, he killed 7 deeply entrenched Japanese with his rifle and bayonet and, although seriously wounded, gallantly continued to lead his men forward, refusing to relinquish his command. Again he was severely wounded, but, still unwilling to retire, pressed ahead with his troops to assure the capture of the objective. Wounded once more in the final assault, he calmly made all arrangements for the resumption of the advance, turned over his command to another officer, and then walked unaided to the rear for medical treatment. By his remarkable courage in continuing forward through sheer determination despite successive wounds, Lt. Nett provided an inspiring example for his men and was instrumental in the capture of a vital strongpoint.

For this action, Bob Nett received our country's highest award, the Medal of Honor.

Bob returned home and stayed in the military, going on to become known as the "father of the Officer Candidate School." Last year he received the USO's highest honor, the Spirit of Service Award.

He'll always be remembered by those of us who honor those who tread the paths before us. But the part that really brings home the man to me is this:

"Frances and I sat on water cans in a rain storm just to watch the Bob Hope show," recalled Nett, who on Wednesday was presented the USO's highest honor, the Spirit of Hope Award. "I had a chance to meet him then, and in Europe and Vietnam later on, and having my name affiliated with that of Bob Hope is great. He meant a lot to a lot of us. He stepped forward to lift our spirits." [...] The ever humble Nett prefers to deflect praise directed at him toward Fort Benning, which he calls the epitome of Army schools; to OCS, from which he graduated in 1942; and to the Army Nurse Corps. "Thank God for them," he said, squeezing his wife's hand.
What a wonderful man. I hope everyone will take a moment today to think of Frances, or Robert, and the acts he did on behalf of our nation 60+ years ago. I wish I had met him.

Rest in Peace Colonel.

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