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Robin L Arnold

War: Vietnam
Parent/Wife: Andrew
City: Wisc. Rapids
Birth Date: 12-Feb-48
Death Date: 24-Jul-66
How Died: Kia
Where Died: Viet Nam
Where Buried: Streamwood, IL
Rank: L-Corp
Branch: Marines

Kia=Killed in Action
Dow=Died of Wounds
Dod=Died of Disease
Mia=Missing in Action


Born on the 12th of February in 1948 was one of the greatest heroes of our country. Robin Lee Arnold was born the second child of Andrew and Corrine Arnold. Robin and his older sister were followed by four more siblings. Robin was born in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, attending Biron Elementary. Robin got a nickname, Tink, when he was a baby due to the stink his diapers made. When he was older, his friends began to call him Arnie.

In 1959, Arnold’s mother and father divorced, and Arnie moved with his mother and siblings to Streamwood, IL, where he became the “man” of the house. His older sister took care of the younger ones. Arnie attended Larkin High School in Elgin, IL, but left before graduation to enlist in the Marines.

Arnie’s biggest dream was to be a Marine and he couldn’t wait. As soon as he turned seventeen, he enlisted. He was signed up under the “buddy plan” with his best friend, Tom Wingrenn. According to their recruiter, the two would never be split up.

Arnie and Tom went off to Camp Pendleton. They went through boot camp together, and everything was fine. However, Tom was a year older and was sent off to Vietnam. Arnie was so furious he wrote the president a letter, but the reply stated it was against the law to send a seventeen-year old to Vietnam.

Arnie was finally sent to Vietnam in June of 1966. On July 24th, 1966, Arnie was killed on a trail at Hill 362 during Operation Hastings. He sustained missile wounds to his body. He was only eighteen years old. Arnie was buried in Streamwood, IL. He was survived by his parents, two brothers (David and Donald), three sisters (Adrienne, Bonnie, and Donna), and his grandmothers, all of Illinois.

Written by: Kalvin Ratsch
Marshfield Senior High


Robin L. Arnold, also known as “Arnie” was a LCPL marine and served with the India Company 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment 1st Marine Division in the Vietnam War. He enlisted in the Marines when he moved to Streamwood, Illinois with his friend, Tom Wingrenn, both at the age of seventeen. Being a Marine was his dream. He was one of the great Wood County Veteran heroes.

Robin was born on February 13th, 1948 in Wisconsin Rapids. He was given the nickname “Tink” by his family when he was little. Even though he was the second oldest, he also had one older sister, one younger sister, and two younger brothers. His father and mother had divorced and he moved with his mother to live in Streamwood, Illinois. After he was in Streamwood, Illinois, he attended Larking High School in Elgin. Since becoming a Marine was his dream, by the time he hit age seventeen, he and his friend, Tom Wingrenn, enlisted into the Marines.

When enlisted, Tom and Arnie went through everything together. Although Tom was older than Arnie by six months, they finished boot camp together and when Tom turned 18, he was hipped off to Vietnam for the war. When Arnie found out about this, he argued with his officers and fellow comrades because he wanted to go with him too. He wrote a letter to President Johnson, and the president replied back that it was illegal to ship off a seventeen year old to Vietnam.

A couple of months later, Arnie was finally shipped out to Vietnam. He was an anti tank assault man rank E3 Lance Corporal. A ran E3 means that they are either in some training status or on an initial assignment. He was assigned with the India Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, and 1st Division. His A-Gunner was Dick Weber who he stuck with through the war. The India 3/5 (3rd battalion, 5th Regiment) soon went into Operation Hastings. Operation Hastings was the largest Marine operation ever undertaken.

The goal of Operation Hasting was to thwart the NVA’s 342B Division, a group of ten thousand soldiers. They had crossed the DMZ zone into the Quang Tri province and were building up there a massive invasion. India 3/5 goals were to build and set up a radio relay station on top of Hill 362 so it would be able to communicate easier with troops within the Helicopter Valley and Rock Pile regions.

While the India 3/5 was heading towards Hill 362 to set up the radio relay station they were ambushed by a large group of NVA. Those who weren’t wounded and Arnie was one of them, helped bring the wounded up towards the hill and then defended them there. While helping to bring back up all of the other, Arnie was killed by heavy small arms fire that was coming in like a hailstorm. Arnie’s A-Gunner, Dick Weber, who was wounded when a concussion grenade detonated near him that, injured his shoulder and arm. Other members of the India Company 3/5 were killed or injured from mortar shell that dropped by them.

The next morning, those who survived were airlifted to safety. India 3/5 Company and other groups succeeded in Operation Hastings when the NVA abandoned their plans for the Quang Tri invasion. It lasted throughout the month of July and ended in August 3rd, 1966. This operation came at a great cost: One hundred and twenty six Marines KIA and four hundred forty eight were wounded.

Robin L. Arnold was killed on July 24th, 1966 serving his country in the act of war and duty. His body was brought back to the United States. He will always be remembered by those who dearly loved him and the people of Wood County. We salute the family of Robin L. Arnold.

Written by:
Kao Thao
Amanda Wolfe
Pang Yong Khang
East Junior High School


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  Honoring Our Wood County War Dead