Robin Lee ArnoldLance Corporal
INDIA CO, 3RD BN, 5TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
12 February 1948 - 24 July 1966
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The database page for Robin Lee Arnold
Robin was born on February 12, 1948 in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, the second child of Andrew and Corinne Arnold. He and his older sister would be followed by 4 more siblings. Because of his penchant to make a rather odiferous mess in his diapers, the family began calling him "Stinker". Soon, this became "Tinker" and finally shortened to just "Tink". Even as he got older, Tink couldn't get his family to stop calling him that but to his friends, he was known as "Arnie". In 1959, his mother and father divorced and he moved with his mother and siblings to Illinois, just outside Chicago. As the oldest male in the household, he often assumed the responsibilities of the "man of the house" while his older sister took care of the young ones. By his early teens, his family had settled in to a house in Streamwood, Illinois, situated 30 miles northwest of Chicago. He attended Larkin High School in Elgin, but left before graduation in order to enlist.
Tink's dream was to be a Marine. He couldn't wait. As soon as he hit 17, he enlisted. He signed up under the "buddy plan" with his best friend from Streamwood, Tom Wingrenn. According to the recruiter, they would never be split up. Off they went to Camp Pendleton. They went through Boot together. Everything was fine. Tom was about 6 months older than Tink and, when he finished boot camp and turned 18, they shipped him off to Nam. Tink was furious. He argued with everyone and anyone about it. He even went so far as to write President Johnson. To no avail. Johnson returned a letter saying that he was sorry, but it was against the law to send a 17 year-old to Nam, he said.
Tink finally shipped out to Nam, arriving "In Country" in June,1966. On July 24th, 1966, he was killed on a trail at Hill 362 during Operation Hastings.
You are invited to visit Tink's Memorial Page at
A memorial from his brother,
A Note from The Virtual WallIn July 1966 the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines provided the bulk of Battalion Landing Team 3/5. On 16 July the BLT was put ashore for operations in the eastern part of Quang Tri Province (Op DECKHOUSE II), but on the 18th it was reassigned to Op HASTINGS in the western portion of the Province. Elements of BLT 3/5 air-assaulted into LZ CROW in the mountains northwest of Cam Lo beginning at 0800 18 July.
These elements were the first US forces to operate in the area, which comprised three valleys divided by ridgelines reaching to altitudes exceeding 1000 feet above sea level. Although there was little hard intelligence with respect to the enemy's strength or exact location, the 364B NVA Division was known to be in the area. The initial landings at LZ CROW (Mike 3/5) were actively opposed, proving the enemy was present in force and apparently determined to fight.
However, that didn't happen - during the first four days, 3/5's contacts with enemy troops were limited to small unit encounters with enemy elements which seemed to fall into two categories - those assigned to fight delaying tactics and those which had been cut off from their parent units. The nature of the operation changed on 22 July when Mike 3/5 took on an NVA force defending what appeared to be a battalion staging area. Fourteen Marines and one sailor were killed in action ejecting the NVA from the bunkered area.
On 24 July India 3/5 was moving along the ridgeline of Hill 362 ("Razorback Ridge") when it came under point-blank attack by NVA forces concealed in heavy jungle. Kilo 3/5 was directed to join on Mike 3/5 but while approaching from the southeast encountered a bunkered NVA force. Both companies withdrew slightly while air and artillery struck the enemy areas. At the same time Lima 3/5 had a sharp encounter with a third force.
By nightfall the Marines had formed defensive perimeters and were prepared for a night attack - but the NVA satisfied themselves with mortar and sniper fire. At sunrise on 25 July the Marines resumed their advance but met little or no resistance - the NVA had withdrawn into the Demilitarized Zone, safely beyond the Marines' reach.
BLT 3/5 completed its withdrawal from the area on 30 July. During the 12 days of the operation they had located and destroyed eight major NVA staging areas, captured or destroyed large quantities of arms and supplies, killed over 300 NVA soldiers, and captured 7 NVA. The operation was completed at considerable cost - 53 Marines and sailors killed in action or died of wounds, and another 162 wounded in action. Twenty-eight of the American dead were from the actions on Razorback Ridge on 26 July:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 May 2002
Last updated 10/03/2006