PV1 Robert Arthur Bridges
from Kings Mountain, NC
PV1 Bridges served with: B_Co 5_Bn_Rangers_WWII
Born in 1922, Ranger Bridges was 39 years old at the time of his death in 1961.
PV1 Robert Arthur Bridges 's Biography
Robert A. Bridges left the farm in 1940 and became one of the millions of soldiers who made up the Greatest Generation. He served more than a year with the 5th Ranger Bn, was injured in combat three times, and served his country for more than 21 years.
Robert Bridges joined the infantry in 1940 at age 18. He signed on for training with the new 5th Ranger Bn when it formed at Camp Forrest in 1943. He told his fiance the ranger training might help him survive WWII. He landed at D-day with the battalion and was wounded seriously at the battle for Brest in August, 1944. He was returned to the battalion and wounded lightly in Northern France in Dec. 1944. He crossed the Saar River with the battalion for the operation behind German lines near Zerf, Germany, in February-March, 1945. He returned to the US in Sept, 1945 and subsequently served on active duty until his death in 1961.
Prior to WWII Robert Bridges had grown up farming with his three brothers, four sisters and parents in rural NC. He left the farm in 1939 to join the CCC and served six months in California. Then he came home to NC and joined the army....he had a taste for adventure and travel and had gotten tired of the farming life!
In 1942 he served two months in the brig for going AWOL to see his fiance....he was gone a month, did a little hunting and fishing, and returned to face the music. He was in the brig at Ft. Leonard Wood when Christmas rolled around and he was pardoned early.
While with the 5th Ranger Bn in WWII he was a machine gunner. After WWII he trained as a truck mechanic at Ft. Benning and subsequently served in transportation units for 14 years, becoming a motor pool Sergeant First Class.
The Korean War interrupted his service in transportation....he was returned to the infantry and was in combat at Tae Jong when Gen. Bill Dean went missing prior to being captured in 1950. Bridges was injured shortly after that and medivaced to Japan. After the war he was back in transportation.
Out of 21 years of service, he served more than a year in combat and he served four years overseas. While he was with the 5th Rgr Bn the unit earned two Presidential Unit Citations.
His fellow Rangers may notice a slight inconsistency in Ranger Bridges' uniform photos regarding rank. His colorful service occasionally involved reductions in rank.