The Reverend Leonard Robinson; Wyoming’s Last Known Bataan Death March Survivor Passes Away At 95
The day is done for one Wyoming soldier.
Staff Sergeant, later The Reverend Leonard Robinson (1919-2014), Wyoming's last known survivor of the Bataan Death March in World War II, has passed away at age 95.
Robinson's unit was ambushed in the Philippines by the Japanese, not long after the Pearl Harbor attack, and he was taken prisoner.
The 60 mile march resulted in the death of more than 10,000 prisoners of war, before they reached their final destination at Camp O'Donnell in Capas, Tariac.
It was later determined by an Allied Military Commission, that the march was a Japanese War Crime.
Staff Sgt. Robinson survived.
After he was freed and returned to the U.S., he disobeyed his commanding officer's order to keep the experiences during that time a secret.
Colonel Larry Barttelbort is the Director of the Wyoming Veterans Commission.
He says he knew The Rev. Robinson for 10 years and says he respects his courage and bravery.
"He has every reason in the world to go in the corner, and cower about how he was treated and there was no doubt that he was tortured, there's no doubt he was mistreated, starved, he makes light of that in his comments when he talks to young people, about how he's had to eat so many different things, but he does it with humor. He sets an example of 'Live everyday, and make sure that you are thankful for the blessings in life.'"
Reverend Robinson's funeral services are scheduled to take place on Friday, December 12th at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Casper, with a viewing scheduled at Bustard's Funeral Home, the day before.
In November 2014, the Cemetery Advisory Board, within the Wyoming Military Department and the Wyoming Veterans Commission, renamed the road that encircles the chapel at the State Veterans Cemetery just outside of Evansville, in his honor.