|The Oath of office, signed by Frank Mason Robinson, at age 17 years and 11 months.|
|A check written from Hugh to his older brother, Frank.|
I am working on a new Historical Fiction novel with a working title of NAVAL AVIATOR NUMBER 6463, which was Frank Mason Robinson's number when he became a pilot for the United States Navy.
Once you have completed the research on your subject, the historical fiction novel is actually easier to write.
|Eleanor Robinson, talking with Hugh. Frank is on the right.|
|Hugh, Marie (my grandmother's sister) Eleanor, and Frank Robinson.|
This novel is about my grandfather, Frank Mason Robinson, who died when he was twenty-seven years old. He was involved in a mid-air collision on March 17, 1941. The accident was not his fault. He flew a TBD Devastator plane off the USS Yorktown, which was an aircraft carrier, and the accident occurred because of the fault of another pilot. I have read the Navy report of the accident several times, and I understand now how devastating this must have been for my grandmother. She lost her husband and he never met his only child, my mother, Ann Marion Robinson.
My cousin, Hugo Robinson, has sent me several scrapbooks, numerous files, and oral reports, (from the ORAL HISTORY COLLECTION, number 1368, interview with Hugh M. Robinson, on February 21, 1997.) who was Frank’s younger brother.
I have secured the records from all of their boarding schools, with the exception of the Lycee Janson de Sailly, which is in Paris. David D’ Onofrio sent the records from the United States Naval Academy and Tyler Larkin sent me the records from the Severn School in Maryland. Both of these schools are boarding schools. The Lycee is also a boarding school.
But the greatest gift was when my mother told me she had Frank’s journals from when he was a child. My younger sister, Sarah, had them placed on a digital file and sent them to me. I loaded these onto my computer and I have read through them three times, trying to get a feel for how he was as a young boy.
|Eleanor and Frank Robinson.|
I cannot imagine what her life was like when she learned her husband had been killed in that airplane crash. She had to raise my mother by herself. And while she did move in with Frank’s mother, Marion Robinson, she was still a single mother.
|The letter from the Department of the Navy, informing Eleanor her husband had died.|