20 October 2008

RIP: Col Robert B. Nett

Robert B Nett
9 Jun 1922 - 19 Oct 2008

ZUI this article from the Columbus (GA) Ledger-Enquirer:
A Taps vigil will be held at 10 p.m. tonight outside of the Officer Candidate School on Fort Benning to honor retired Col. Robert B. Nett.

The Medal of Honor recipient and "The father of Officer Candidate School," died Sunday at the age of 86 after a brief illness.

Nett enlisted in the Connecticut National Guard in 1940 and graduated from Officer Candidate School in 1942. His distinguished career included service in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam.


The last of five Medal of Honor recipients from Muscogee County, Nett earned the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government on Dec. 14, 1944 for heroic actions during hand-to-hand fighting with Japanese soldiers at their heavily fortified stronghold near Cognon in the Philippines.


Following retirement from the Army after 33 year of service, Nett taught for 17 years in the local school system. He was a frequent lecturer at the Officer Candidate School and speaker at Ranger Regiment on Fort Benning. He is a member of both the Army Ranger Hall of Fame and the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.


Nett is survived by his wife, Frances Nett; His son, Dr. Robert Nett Jr. his wife, Patti Ann Nett, and their children Nicholas and Erica, of San Antonio, Texas; His daughter Frances Anne Randall, of Roswell, New Mexico and her husband Doyle, and his granddaughter Yvonne Michelle Randall of Las Vegas, Nevada.

******* *** *******


Captain (then Lieutenant), US Army; Company E, 305th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division

Born: 9 June 1922, New Haven, Connecticut
Died: 19 October 2008, Columbus, Georgia

Citation: He commanded Company E in an attack against a reinforced enemy battalion which had held up the American advance for 2 days from its entrenched positions around a 3-story concrete building. With another infantry company and armored vehicles, Company E advanced against heavy machinegun and other automatic weapons fire with Lt. Nett spearheading the assault against the strongpoint. During the fierce hand-to-hand encounter which ensued, he killed 7 deeply entrenched Japanese with his rifle and bayonet and, although seriously wounded, gallantly continued to lead his men forward, refusing to relinquish his command. Again he was severely wounded, but, still unwilling to retire, pressed ahead with his troops to assure the capture of the objective. Wounded once more in the final assault, he calmly made all arrangements for the resumption of the advance, turned over his command to another officer, and then walked unaided to the rear for medical treatment. By his remarkable courage in continuing forward through sheer determination despite successive wounds, Lt. Nett provided an inspiring example for his men and was instrumental in the capture of a vital strongpoint.


Anonymous said...

There was no better man than "Pappy" Nett. He was my teacher and mentor, and you couldn't ask for a better role model. He was an adamant supporter telling me "Girls can do anything boys can do" in a time and place when no one else was tellign me that. I believe one of the primary reasons I'm at Harvard today, is because of him. He was far more than a great soldier; he was a teacher, mentor and father figure.

Anonymous said...

I remember Col. Nett from my days as a new OCS grad in 1966. The Colonel was deeply involved with the Chatahoochie Council of Boy Scouts. His history was inspirational and his character was unassailable. God rest you, warrior.

Ronald N. Shultz
Major, Infanty, Retired