Robert Franklin 'Cowboy" Stout

Robert "Cowboy" Stout

USMC   Major

Navy Cross,   DFC,   Air Medal

Born 24 March, 1918 in Bethany, Missouri.
Grew up on a ranch in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, hence the nickname Cowboy.
Did two years at UW but left to join the Marines.
Winged at Pensacola, 19 September 1941.
Commissioned 4 August 1941.
Joined VMF-212 & went with some members of that unit to Guadalcanal in October 1942 to gain experience with VMF-224.
The rest of 212 showed up shortly and the whole squadron was evacuated on November.
Promoted to Captain 16 December 1942.
He was the CO of VMF-212 from 6 Feb. 1942 to 2 April 1943.
Transferred to command VMF-114, 18 September 1943.
Promoted to Major, 15 October 1943.
Landed on Peleliu, 26 September 1943.
Cowboy was complimented by General Rupertus (1st Div) for his squadron's work during the battles over the island.
He was leading VMF-114 when he was killed by flak on 4 March 1945 over Koror on Babelthuap Island.


Navy Cross Citation

"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in aerial combat against the enemy while serving with a Marine fighter squadron in the British Solomon Islands area, from October 9, 1942, until November 6, 1942. Lieutenant STOUT shot down two Japanese aircraft above Guadalcanal on October 20, 1942; one fighter on October 23, 1942; another on October 25, 1942, and during a dawn attack on Rekata Bay, he destroyed two enemy aircraft of the eleven shot down by his group. Lieutenant STOUT participated in many hazardous and important missions in enemy territory, including the interception of enemy bombers and fighters and the strafing of enemy ships and bases. His courage, skill, and leadership were in keeping with the Highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Interestingly, the Militarytimes website has a slightly different version which I have posted here, in part, but can be found on their site here.

"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in aerial combat against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Area from 9 October 1942 to 6 November 1942. Throughout that strenuous period when the Guadalcanal airfield was under constant bombardment and our shore establishments in the area were menaced by the desperate counter thrusts of a fanatical foe, First Lieutenant Stout repeatedly intercepted enemy bombing raids and escorted our own torpedo and bombing planes toward hostile objectives. With bold determination and courageous disregard of personal safety, he pressed home numerous attacks against heavily escorted waves of invading bombers and, in four vigorous fights against tremendous odds, shot down a total of six Japanese planes. His superb flying skill and dauntless initiative were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."


Victories Include :

14 Oct 1942
20 Oct 1942

23 Oct 1942
25 Oct 1942
30 Oct 1942
one 2/e bomber
one Zero
one u/i bomber
one Zero
one u/i bomber
one A6M2-N
destroyed (Guadalcanal, VMF-224 temp.)
destroyed (Guadalcanal, VMF-212)
destroyed (Guadalcanal, VMF-212)
destroyed (Guadalcanal, VMF-212)
destroyed (Rekata Bay, VMF-212)

6 / 0 / 0


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Thanks go out to

Damon Stout for the photo & infos !

Damon is making a documentary about his Cowboy cousin. You can learn about it here.

On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources; newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC); the Google News Archives; the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private.

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