On the cusp of his 99th birthday, a WWII era-veteran and Skyway resident was honored for his service.
For Veterans Day, Skyway Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9430 recognized 98-year-old Clyde Robinson with a Quilt of Valor. He served in the Ninth Calvary Regiment of the U.S. Army, along with over a million African American soldiers who answered the nation’s call, despite continued segregation and discrimination at home.
“Being African American, it was a true privilege for me to recognize him as a buffalo soldier,” post Cmdr. Larry Weldon said. “Even though that period of segregation ended when I was in the Navy, if I’d have the opportunity to be a buffalo soldier I would have.”
Robinson’s Calvary was a member of the 92nd Infantry, the last segregated unit in the U.S. armed forces. The Infantry are known as the buffalo soldiers, a name bestowed to segregated black soldiers during the Civil War, supposedly given by Native Americans they met on the Plains.
The men of Robinson’s division were among the only black soldiers to see combat in Europe, against German troops in Italy. After that, Robinson went to training in Panama. They were scheduled to be the second wave of allied troops to invade Japan, but the war ended before they were deployed.
The history of the buffalo soldiers is also lived out today through reenactments, including from Buffalo Soldiers of Seattle, a group that can also be seen at Renton River Days.
The quilt of valor given to Robinson was handmade by Auxiliary President Cheryl Sheeler with his name sewn in. Weldon said as is his personality, Robinson humbly accepted the quilt of honor, giving a simple thank you.
“I know (Robinson) personally and he is a humble, quiet man. You wouldn’t know from talking to him that he’s been through that. I’ve never heard him complain about anything, which just shows what great character he has,” Weldon said.
Robinson is a life member of Post 9430 and post guard. He was also featured in the Seattle Times in a feature story on the buffalo soldiers. He will be 99 on Nov. 20.