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Ethiopia recognizes Colonel John Charles Robinson

Tigrai Online, May 6, 2015

Ethiopia erects a monument for Colonel John Charles Robinson
A photo of Colonel John Charles Robinson and a statue which was erected at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa to commemorate his service to Ethiopia.

Colonel John Charles Robinson the Aviator was a black American who volunteered to help Ethiopia against fascist Italy’s invasion in 1935.

When European Imperialists were dividing Africa among themselves in the 19th hundreds, Fascist Italy wanted a piece of Africa. Italy went for the oldest independent country on earth, Ethiopia. It wasn’t the first time the Italians tried to invade Ethiopia. Italy had tried to invade Ethiopia more than five times from 1887 to 1896 in the battles of Dogali, Amba-Alaje, Mekelle and they were defeated in Adwa in 1896. Almost 40 years after the humiliating defeat in Adwa the Italians wanted to try one more time in 1935.

When news reached Emperor Hailesilassie about Colonel John Charles Robinson’s desire to come to Ethiopia to fight the Italians, the Emperor officially invited him to Ethiopia.


Colonel John Charles Robinson contributed by directly taking part in missions against the fascist forces, in training Ethiopian air force pilots, reconnaissance mission, and by transporting soldiers and supplies to the war front. He fought the Italians with great bravery and valor to defend Ethiopian sovereignty and territorial integrity. He was one of the witnesses of the bombardment of the city of Adwa.

Colonel John Charles Robinson was born on 24 February 1903 in Carrabelle, Florida, United States of America.

Colonel John Charles Robinson an African American who served in the Ethiopian Air force
Colonel John Charles Robinson was an African-American who served in the Ethiopian Royal Air Force and defended Ethiopia agianst Fascist Italy.

Colonel John Charles Robinson was badly injured when his plane crashed in Addis Ababa. He was on his way to city of Nazret to deliver blood to another person injured in another plane accident. After 10 days in the hospital he died in April 8, 1954 from his injuries. He was buried at the Gulele Cemetery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

At the 74th anniversary of Ethiopian Patriots Victory Day, Ethiopia and Ethiopians recognized the outstanding service and dedication of Colonel John Charles Robinson. As an appreciation to his service to Ethiopia a statue monument was erected at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to commemorate Colonel John Charles Robinson.

The commemoration ceremony was attended by President Mulatu Teshome and other dignitaries.

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