United State Representative Pete Aguilar presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Nicholas Robolino, who was born in North Bergen, NJ in 1922. Robolino was a member of the Army Air Corps during World War II, and served in England with the 8th Air Force, 801/492nd Bombardment Group, a unit nicknamed “The Carpetbaggers” who were part of the OSS. He worked on the ground as a mechanic, testing and repairing the radar each day.
The award was accepted by Domenic Robolino, son of Nicholas. “All I can say is my dad would be proud. I accept posthumously for him.”
In 2017, the CIA released previously classified documents related to missions Robolino participated in. Because of the nature of the missions, members of the 492nd Bombardment Group were unable to be recognized for their achievements.
“I found out he was in radar technology, which back then was really classified,” said Domenic Robolino.
The “Carpetbaggers” began operations in January 1944, dropping supplies into war occupied zones in Europe. One of the most important missions was to deliver gasoline to the frontlines by using modified B-24 bombers. By September 1944, 822,791 gallons of gasoline were delivered.
The operation is credited with ending the war two years earlier and helping to defeat the Nazis.
After the war, Robolino moved to California in 1948, where he ran his I.V. Bag company in from 1956 to 1964.
He was a member of the Kiwanis, Lions, 20-30 Club, Italian Heritage Dante Association, the American Legion Post 26, and the Elks Lodge. He was president of the local Air Force Association Charles Hudson Chapter from 1996 to 2000.
Nick passed away in California in 2011.