In the summer of 1943, junior Army officer Robert Scott and his men had their first taste of combat in some of the worst terrain of the Pacific campaign in the jungle-like mountain hillsides in the central Solomon Islands. In the face of enemy rifle and machine-gun fire, Lt. Scott defended his untested men of the 172d Infantry Regiment by beating back a Japanese counterattack in the battle for an airstrip in the Solomon Islands.
Despite being wounded twice, he managed to capture the Munda Point airstrip, which was needed as a base for Marine fighter planes that would escort heavy bombers on their run to the Japanese stronghold of Rabaul. Behind a blasted-out tree stump, Scott hurled over 30 grenades at Japanese dugouts, forcing the enemy to withdraw.
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty..." Robert Sheldon Scott received the nation's highest award for valor a solider can be bestowed, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Born in Washington D. C., Scott moved to New Mexico as his father was New Mexico's Public Health Director. The 6'4" Scott lettered in basketball and football at Albuquerque High. His teammates became his lifelong friends: all-time great halfback Abbie Paiz, halfback Bill Brannin, end Alfred Zachman, center Emilio Lopez and the infamous fullback Guyton "Sheep" Hays.
Scott attended the University of New Mexico and lettered in basketball. He attained a bachelor's degree in English and a minor in French. After graduating from UNM in 1937, he attended the School of Business Administration at the University of Kansas.
He entered the U.S. Army and attended the Officer Candidate School at the start of World War II and was commissioned a second lieutenant in September of 1942. Scott was released from active duty in 1945 only to re-enlist in 1947 eventually working his way up to the rank of Colonel.
During his military service Scott served as Plans and Training Commander and Advisor to Korea and as the Third Battalion Commander in the 7th Infantry Division among other leadership roles. Col.
Scott and his family saw a good portion of the world being stationed throughout the United States, Philippines and several posts in Germany, Korea and Japan. Col. Scott finished out his military career in 1966 as a Professor of Military Science, Army ROTC, at Centenary College in Shreveport, La.
Throughout his life he always returned to his beloved New Mexico, where he and his wife, Anita, would eventually retire in Santa Fe. Robert Scott passed away in 1999.