Robert T. Jefferson
Robert Jefferson


Jim Brown


Private/Major (acting on war games)


Raid at the Chateau Rennes Brittany


mid 1910's-early 1920's


Killed in Action during Operation Amnesty.

Weapon of choice

M3 'Grease Gun'.

Robert T. Jefferson was the only African American member of the dozen. He is portrayed by footballer Jim Brown. Jim Brown describing his character:

"Jefferson is any man fighting for recognition against the odds."


Robert T. Jefferson was an enlisted man in a segregated unit. He had an encounter with white soldiers who were about to castrate him. Jefferson was forced to defend himself, killing an unknown number of his attackers. Jefferson was sentenced to death due to his actions, but his race most likely had a part in his sentencing. The angered and bittered soldier was imprisoned at the Marston-Tyne military stockade in London. While imprisoned he was taunted by prison guard Cpl. Morgan.

Jefferson was selected to take part in Operation Amnesty, a project planned by the Office of Strategic Services in which twelve American military felons would be given a second chance to be free if they participate in a suicide mission. The operation was tasked to Major John Reisman.

Jefferson was almost six days short from his scheduled execution of sentence by the time Reisman had visited him in his cell. Jefferson insulted Reisman and was first rude to the Major that was offering him an alternative. Jefferson told Reisman that he was fighting his own war and that he chose his own enemies, which was considered a privilege by Major Reisman.

Throughout the film, he became close friends with gentle giant Samson Posey and stoical coal miner Joseph T. Wladislaw.  Jefferson's enemies were Victor R. Franko, a Chicago Syndicate mobster and the bible thumping rapist Archer J. Maggott, who at one point called Jefferson "nigger". 

After taking part in the building of the barracks, he and Wladislaw caught and assaulted Franko, who was trying to escape the compound. Eventually, the team became known as the Dirty Dozen as such named after Franko refused to shave in cold water and as such due to his ignorance they all had to stay dirty for long as possible. Jefferson displayed true friendship when he and Posey rescued Wladislaw, who was being beaten up in a latrine by two of Colonel Everett Dasher Breed's loyal sergeants, who were seeking information about Operation Amnesty, which was supposed to be completely top secret.

Jefferson participated in the war games, where he became an acting Major in the battlefield. He led prisoners Tassos R. Bravos, Roscoe Lever, and Milo Vladek to safety when the four were caught in the middle of a field artillery barrage during the war games.

On the evening of June 5, the dozen, led by Major Reisman and aided by Sgt. Clyde Bowren, parachuted into Brittnay. Jefferson and Wladislaw went looking for Pedro Jiminez, who was missing from the party. The two eventually found the guitarist hanging from an apple tree with a snapped neck.

Jefferson, Franko, Maggott, and Vladek penetrated the chateau through a balcony. When inside the chateau however, the mission was corrupted due to Maggott's incompetence hatred of women. The rapist killed a German officer's girlfriend. When Jefferson and Franko were about to stumble upon the scene, Maggott shot at Franko while Jefferson took refuge into a room. As a result the battle began. Maggott was talking to himself, announcing that it was "judgement day" for the sinners. Jefferson managed to kill Maggott due to him being too dangerous to be left alive.

Jefferson and Wladislaw later helped place gasoline and grenades into the gas chambers in order to kill all the generals and officers in it, along with their women. However, he set off to place his grenades into the chimney vats of the gas chambers, adding more to do when it came time to blow up the chateau. During the mission, the members of the group were fired upon out in the open. Jefferson himself was almost shot in the head by a German sharpshooter.

While he made his courageous run and tried to make it to the half truck where Reisman, Wladislaw, Bowren, and Franko were on, Jefferson was killed when a German soldier hosed him down with a MP40. Those who had witnessed Jefferson's death were distraught, especially Wladislaw and surprisingly Franko. Despite his death, Jefferson left a legacy. The legacy was the destruction of the chateau that he had made possible.

By the end of Operation Amnesty, Jefferson and nine other prisoners were killed in action while Posey was missing in action. Wladislaw was the sole surviving felon.