Branch: Marine Corps ** Served In: WWII
Robert C. Kennedy enlisted in the Marines the day after Pearl Harbor, but was sent back to school to complete his college degree. He then re-entered the Corps, finished officer training, and volunteered for the Marine Raiders, an elite unit patterned after British commandos. They specialized in surprise amphibious raids or as first-ashore troops in beachhead landings. Told by his battle-hardened, three-hitch sergeant “to keep yourself healthy and I’ll run the platoon,” Lt. Kennedy fought at New Georgia in the Solomon Islands. He was wounded in both arms after the bloody Battle of Bairoko Harbor, requiring a 16-month recovery in both New Zealand and U.S. hospitals.