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Remembering World War II
Name: Robert Wilson Hickson Rank: Private Service Number: 11047676 Service: Company B, 1st Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army Date of Birth: April 26, 1918 Place of Birth: Worcester, Worcester Co. Massachusetts Date of Enlistment: February 7, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Boston, Massachusetts Address at Enlistment: Worcester, Worcester Co. Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 23 Height: 5 feet, 11 inches Occupation: Chauffeur / Driver Marital Status: Single Date of Death: June 6, 1944 Age: 26 Cemetery: Hope Cemetery, Worcester, Worcester Co., Massachusetts Grave: Section 12, Lot 16777 Robert Wilson Hickson was the son of Thomas Scholes Hickson (1880-1964) and Alice Loretta (Niford) Hickson (1885-1978). His mother was born in Lunenburg, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. His father was born in Manchester, Lancashire, England. Robert had eleven siblings. Gladys Florence Hickson (1907-1935), Dorothy Sophia Hickson (1908-2008), William Frederick Hickson (1909-1972), Viola Loretta Hickson (1910-1998), Alice Clara Hickson (1913-2000), Thomas Robert Hickson (1915-1992), May (Mae) Thelma Hickson (1916-2006) Lillian Mildred Hickson (1920-2012), James Hickson (1921-1985), Aubrey Gordon Hickson (1924-1925), and Donald Hickson (1926-1947). Robert’s brother also served in the US Army during WWII (Service No. 31390483). Born in Massachusetts, Robert returned to Nova Scotia, living in Lunenburg Co. with his parents throughout the 1920’s. Many of his siblings were born in Nova Scotia throughout the decade. The family moved back to New England around 1930 and they were all living on Lincoln Street in Worcester. By 1940, Robert was living on Main Street in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., Mass. at his sister and brother-in-law Ernest Briggs’ home, along with their 2 year old son Harold. Robert was working 50-60 hours a week as a general manager of the local drug store. After enlisting in the US Army, he completed his training as an infantryman of a heavy weapons company with Company B of the 29th Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Croft in South Carolina from February 16 to May 16, 1942. He completed his parachutist training June 19, 1942. Private Hickson was one of eighteen thousand paratroopers to make the nighttime drop just after midnight on D-Day, into the early morning hours of the June 6, 1944. Several hours prior to troops landing on the beaches, Private Robert Hickson and over thousands of paratroopers of the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, as well as several thousand from the British 6th Airborne Division were dropped by over 1,200 aircraft. The Americans of the US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions dropped onto the Cotentin peninsula behind Utah beach. They blocked a main road at Sainte-Mère- Église and secured causeways across the flooded lowlands, helping the US 4th Infantry Division to break out from Utah beach. It’s unclear how Private Robert Wilson Hickson was killed in action, but after jumping, he died on D-Day June 6, 1944 in Normandy. On December 16, 1944, the German government sent notification through Red Cross confirming Hickson’s death on June 6, 1944. His family chose to repatriate his remains and he was interred at the Hope Cemetery in Worcester, Massachusetts, on May 25, 1949.
Robert Wilson Hickson
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Sources: findagrave
Thomas Hickson (left) with Robert (right)