Robert Cabel Hylton, of Fayetteville, NC, passed away peacefully on December 16, 2018. He was 88.
Robert was born on April 14, 1930 in Stuart, Virginia to William and Emma Hylton. He joined the Army in 1948, where he served with honor and distinction for 20 years. During the Korean War, Robert was a member of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team that conducted parachute assaults on October 20, 1950 at Sukch’on and Sunch’on, and on March 23, 1951 at Munsan-ni. These are considered the most successful combat airborne operations of regimental size in history.
After returning from Korea, Robert served as Heavy Weapons Platoon Sergeant in the 11th Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. In 1955, he was awarded the Outstanding Soldier of Fort Campbell and chosen as the Enlisted Aide for the Commanding General of the 3rd Army. The following year, he was stationed in Munich, Germany, serving as an Operations and Intelligence Sergeant and a Light Weapons Leader in the 503rd Airborne Infantry. In 1959 he was selected to serve with the 77th Special Forces Group in Fort Bragg, NC as a Light Weapons Leader. In 1961 he served as an Intelligence Sergeant with the 7th Special Forces Group in a mission to Laos. He then returned to Fort Bragg to serve as a Guerrilla Warfare and Counterinsurgency Instructor with the 5th Special Forces Training Group, earning a letter of commendation from the Commanding General of the US Special Warfare Center. In 1964, he was transferred to Bad Tölz, Germany where he earned the rank of Master Sergeant while serving in Operations with the 10th Special Forces Group. He returned to Fort Bragg in 1967 where he served as an Operations Sergeant with the 6th Special Forces Group until his retirement.
During his career Robert was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge Second Award, Army of Occupation Medal of Japan, Korean Service Medal with four Bronze Stars and one Arrowhead, National Defense Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal Fourth Award, Master Parachute Badge, Expert Rifle Badge, and Sharpshooter Badge.
Robert was a brave and loyal soldier, as well as a loving husband and father. He is survived by his daughter, Jeannette Gray, of Salem, Oregon; daughter, Julie Hylton, of Sacramento, CA; son, Michael Hylton, of Athens, GA; and three grandsons, Brad Hylton, Seth Gray and Oliver Horne. He is preceded in death by his wife, Jane.
A memorial service and celebration of Robert’s life will take place Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 11am at McNeill Mackie Funeral Home in St. Pauls, NC, followed by a graveside service at Gardens of Faith Cemetery in Lumberton, NC. A visitation will precede the memorial service at 10am.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the US Army Airborne and Special Operations Museum, 100 Bragg Blvd., Fayetteville, NC 28301, or by visiting http://asomfv2.wpengine.com/donate/.