Robert Louis Hempstead
The Tiger, business manager; YMCA Council; Senior Platoon.
Wife Louisa Ross, Son Rodney Ross Hempstead
Company M, 3rd Batallion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman’s Badge
Mar 31, 1919
Aug 23, 1944
Killed in Action leading a two company patrol near San Columbano, Italy during the Rome-Amo Campaign
Westview Cemetery, Atlanta
Katherine Baishiki/Ronald Ross Hempstead11/9/05
Citation for the Silver Star:
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Captain (Infantry) Robert Louis Hempstead (ASN: 0-414341), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Commanding Officer, Company M, 3d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team, attached to the 34th Infantry Division, on 23 August 1944, near San Columbano, Italy. When it was discovered that the Germans were maintaining a patrol base in San Columbano on the south side of the Arno and on the left flank of the 3d Battalion, Captain Hempstead volunteered to lead a combined Company M and L patrol to wipe out the enemy nest. The patrol went out with a forward observer from Cannon Company. Aided by fire from Cannon Company the patrol cleared out one enemy strongpoint, killing eight Germans and wounding several others. As the patrol worked its way beyond San Columbano, it was ambushed near a canal and caught in a crossfire from two enemy machine guns, supported by mortars. Captain Hempstead, seeing the patrol was trapped, left his covered position and opened fire with a Tommy Gun, drawing the enemy’s attention to him. He was instantly killed by a burst of machine-gun fire, but by creating a diversion, he enabled his remaining men to withdraw to better positions and call down artillery fire on the enemy.
23-Aug-44 Action Date: Headquarters, 92nd Infantry Division, General Orders No. 19 (1945)
Company Commander Company M, 3rd Bayyalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team – was an Asian American unit composed of mostly Japanese Americans who fought in Europe during World War II. The 442nd was a self-sufficient fighting force, and fought with uncommon distinction in Italy, southern France, and Germany. The unit became the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the United States armed forces, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients. The motto of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was “Go for broke.”