Langevin Presents 10 Service Medals to Son of World War II Veteran

Jul 6, 2017 Issues: Rhode Island

Today, Congressman Jim Langevin presented James Hirst, son of World War II veteran Robert S. Hirst, with 10 medals for his father’s service in the U.S. Army.

Robert Hirst was a native Rhode Islander, born in Ashaway on April 1, 1922. In November 1939, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in battles in Rhineland, Ardennes, and Normandy during the Battle of the Bulge, which began in December 1944. The Battle of the Bulge was the last major German offensive campaign during World War II.

Sergeant Robert Hirst was honorably discharged in November 1945.

Hirst’s hometown roots run deep in Hopkinton. After his service, Robert Hirst worked in Ashaway, a village within Hopkinton, and became the longest serving Postmaster in the village’s history. He was also the last Ashaway Postmaster to be appointed by the President – Dwight Eisenhower at the time – and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

James Hirst reached out to Congressman Langevin to request his assistance in reissuing his father’s medals so he could honor his father’s service during World War II. Through talks with the National Personnel Records Center of the National Archives and Records Administration, all 10 medals were reissued and delivered to James Hirst.

“It’s a true privilege to deliver these 10 service medals to the Hirst family,” Langevin said. “We owe our soldiers who fought in World War II an enormous debt of gratitude, and these medals will honor Robert Hirst’s bravery and heroism.”

Congressman Langevin presented 10 medals that include the Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal & Bronze Star Attachment & Arrowhead, World War II Victory Medal, Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII, Sharpshooter Badge & Carbine Bar, Marksmanship Badge & Rifle Bar, Glider Badge, and Parachutist Badge Basic.

“On behalf of my family, we are honored and thankful for Congressman Langevin and his staff’s help in reissuing my father’s service medals,” James Hirst said. “This is a very emotional moment for us. I am glad I can hang these medals on my wall as a constant reminder of my father’s years of service in the U.S. Army.”

Robert Hirst passed away on March 22, 1994, at the age of 71.