Robert Winston Mercy

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According to the description of I Hear no Bugles, “The central theme is Robert's war experiences as a platoon Sergeant of an all-Korean infantry assault unit within an American rifle company; and how a lifetime of absorbed film propaganda and an idealistic quest for honor and meaning plays out against the illusion-shattering reality experienced during 8 major campaigns. The author’s twin brother served with him. Collectively they earned 1 Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, 4 Purple Hearts and a Presidential Unit Citation for leading a bayonet charge. This is the only known recorded account by a frontline infantryman who fought in the first hectic year of the Korean War.


According to Dr. Wesley Britton, author of Beyond Bond: Spies in Fiction and Film, “Some call the Korean conflict the “forgotten war,” and it’s hard to refute this claim. There are too few histories in print, too few biographies of those who served.

Robert Winston Mercy’s unique memoir is a valuable contribution to filling this gap. But his story is more than recollections of his days in uniform. Beginning with descriptions of his youth watching war movies and how they shaped his expectations of combat, Mercy shows how Hollywood productions affect our cultural consciousness. Mercy’s perspective is like no other—a boy influenced by what he saw, a man enlightened by what he experienced, and finally, as an actor himself, a man who brought this background into his television and film roles.


Beyond all this, this very erudite author has written a very readable book with both human depth and thoughtful insights into the meaning of war in fact and fiction. It’s a nugget that should not be overlooked by historians or anyone interested in an era so long overlooked.”

Robert W. Mercy was raised in New York City and traveled extensively with his family during his formative years. He served in the New York National Guard starting at age thirteen, then the USMC and eventually the 11th Airborne Division before war broke out in Korea. He served with a rifle company and led an all-Asian assault platoon, earning a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and a Presidential Unit Citation for one of the many bayonet assaults his unit led during the eight campaigns in which he participated.


After he left the military, his long-standing film interest projected him into a theatrical career in which he played leading and support roles in several major television shows (including "Combat!") and films. While doing off-Broadway shows and commercials, he pursued a life-long interest in psychology, particularly dream analysis, and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Norwich University. He then continued his Masters studies at NYU.


Robert has lectured at medical schools and appeared on numerous radio talk shows discussing his independent study work on Dermatoglyphics and the profiling of personality. He successfully combined and applied all of those modalities in The Manhattan Actors Lab, a group therapy/acting workshop that he founded. He has also enjoyed a tremendous success bringing out the inner lives of his students.


Literature, psychology and helping others develop their acting skills have remained his primary interests, and he recently taught a Community Theater program at Humboldt State University in Northern California.


He’s a successful artist working in oils, practices Buddhism and has toured his one man Shakespearian show in many northern California communities.


He’s presently up for a major supporting role in an independent film and is preparing to present his newly written one man show—An Evening with James Mason; and the impersonating skills that got him into theater in the first place.  Robert Winston Mercy is the author of I Hear no Bugles.

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