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March 9, 2007

Private First Class Robert Harley Young, U.S. Army, Company E, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Calvary Division was killed in action on November 5, 1950. He was North of Kaesong, Korea on October 9, 1950. He entered the service at Vallejo, California. He was born in Oroville, March 4, 1929.

G.O. No.65,
2 August 1951.

Pfc. Young distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. His company, spearheading a battalion drive deep in enemy territory, suddenly came under a devastating barrage of enemy mortar and automatic weapons crossfire which inflicted heavy casualties among his comrades and wounded him in the face and shoulder. Refusing to be evacuated, Pfc. Young remained in position and continued to fire at the enemy until wounded a second time. As he awaited first aid near the company command post the enemy attempted an enveloping movement. Disregarding medical treatment he took an exposed position and firing with deadly accuracy killed 5 of the enemy. During this action he was again hit by hostile fire which knocked him to the ground and destroyed his helmet. Later when supporting tanks moved forward, Pfc. Young, his wounds still unattended, directed tank fire which destroyed 3 enemy gun positions and enabled the company to advance. Wounded again by an enemy mortar burst, and while aiding several of his injured comrades, he demanded that all other be evacuated first. Throughout the course of this action the leadership and combative instinct displayed by Pfc. Young exerted a profound influence on the conduct of the company. His aggressive example affected the whole course of the action and was responsible for its success. Pfc. Young’s dauntless courage and intrepidity reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the esteemed traditions of the U. S. Army.

Oroville Mercury Register June 16, 1951

Oroville Native, Killed In Korea, To Be Honored
A former Oroville resident will be accorded the country’s highest honor next Thursday when he is awarded the congressional Medal of Honor posthumously. Pfc. Robert H. Young, son of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin D. Young, now of Vallejo, who was killed during the Korean fighting, was born in Oroville and attended grade school in Chico, before moving to Solano County. Details of his bravery in combat were released by another Korean veteran who said that Young was wounded three times before he suffered a fourth wound from which he died. He first suffered wounds from mortar fragments and continued to fire on the advancing enemy. He was wounded again and while at the aid station the Reds attacked again. Young immediately dashed into the open, killing five Red soldiers. Although hit again he helped remove the injured when he was hit for the fourth time. Young was born here March 4, 1929. His parents will be flown to Washington to receive the medal from Gen. Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Stu’s Notes: I woke up on Feb. 28, 2007, 1:40am, picked up an old Mercury Register out of the 1951 box, went through all six pages. Much to my surprise, I caught the headline Oroville Native Killed In Korea which was on the back page.. He also went to school in Chico. Bob Hewitt, in the summer of 2002, told me about Robert Harley Young. I ran the first article of this column in the summer of 2002, one of my first stories. For years I wondered what happened to Robert in between the time he was born and moved to Vallejo. Now we know a little bit more about an Oroville, and rightfully, so Chico Hero. Kathleen Hillman, who has done wonders for me in the past, is helping me find more about Robert’s life in Chico. Most cities in America that have such strong ties to Medal of Honor Recipients have a memorial in their honor. Seems Robert was truly forgotten here. You can read more about Robert on our web site.

Our Memorial is really coming together now that we have taken out Escrow on the remaining two houses. This will allow us to build a beautiful park and also create much needed parking for the Veterans Memorial Hall, the Monday Club, Nature Center and the trail walkers. You can have a picnic eating those delicious hamburgers and fries from John’s Boss Burger.

The soldiers in Korea fought so hard under very, very hard conditions and for you young readers remember the war was started by North Korea. Our men and women gave there “all” to protect the South Koreans who to this day benefit from their sacrifices as does all of the Free World.