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PASSINGS : Col. Robert B. Nett

Highly decorated veteran of 3 wars

October 25, 2008|Times wire Reports

Col. Robert B. Nett, 86, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in combat in the Philippines during World War II and later served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, died Sunday in Columbus, Ga., after a brief illness, Ft. Benning spokeswoman Elsie Jackson said.

Born in New Haven, Conn., on June 13, 1922, Nett enlisted in the Connecticut National Guard in 1940 and was sent into combat on Christmas Island shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was soon sent to Ft. Benning in Georgia and graduated from Officer Candidate School in 1942.

Nett was a lieutenant and company commander in December 1944 when he led an assault on a Japanese stronghold.

He was seriously wounded three times during the attack but killed seven enemy soldiers with his rifle and bayonet. He later rejoined his unit and fought on Okinawa.

He helped train South Korean soldiers during the Korean conflict and was an advisor to Vietnamese troops during the war in Vietnam.

After 33 years of military service, Nett retired and spent 17 years as a teacher in the Columbus school system.

He is a member of the Army Ranger Hall of Fame and received the USO's Spirit of Hope award.

Nett's wife, Frances, is a former Army nurse, and his son, Robert Jr., is a former Army Airborne doctor.

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