Anguish for World War II veteran Bill Robinson after he loses precious Liberation of the Philippines medal soon after Shepparton dawn service on Anzac Day.RIAHN SMITH May 7, 2014 3:55am
Shepparton's Bill Robinson with a medal similar to the Liberation of the Philippines award he lost on Anzac Day.
Look around Bill Robinson’s lounge room and one can’t help but ask about the war.
Among the dozens of pictures of his family are paintings of battleships, ageing photos of young men in uniform and other wartime memorabilia.
But there is one thing missing — a gold Liberation of the Philippines medal.
Mr Robinson, 88, lost the precious memento during last month’s Anzac Day celebrations.
At Shepparton’s dawn service on April 25, the World War II veteran proudly wore his medals, including a 1939-1945 Star, a Pacific Star, an Australian Service Medal and one recognising the Liberation of the Philippines.
After attending the service with his great-grandchildren, Mr Robinson walked to the nearby RSL club to reminisce about old times.
He thinks the medal may have fallen from its service ribbon while at, or on the way to, the venue.
‘‘I didn’t realise I lost it until I got home,’’ Mr Robinson said.
‘‘I felt terrible. I rang them (RSL) straight away, but they hadn’t seen it.’’
Mr Robinson joined the Australian Navy aged 17 in 1942 and served on HMAS Kanimbla — an armed merchant cruiser and infantry landing ship — in the Pacific theatre, including New Guinea, the Philippines and Borneo.
He was awarded the medal for his part in the expulsion of Japanese troops from the Philippines in 1944-45.
Fifty years after the end of the war, the Filipino president presented Mr Robinson and his fellow servicemen with an additional medal in honour of the battle’s half-century anniversary.
This is the medal that is missing.
Mr Robinson said the memorabilia was an important part of his family’s history and one he hoped would be returned.
‘‘My father, he was in the first war and lost one of his eyes in Belgium,’’ he said.
‘‘There were four men in my crew and I’m the only one left.
‘‘It’s remembrance for everyone who served, for all your mates.’’
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