On 21 July 1945, the nation paid homage to a young Marine who gave his life for his country. During a simple presentation ceremony on the Armstrong County Courthouse lawn, Mrs. Lillabel Roan, of Claude, Texas, accepted the Medal of Honor posthumously awarded her son, PFC Charles H. Roan, 21.
Charles Howard Roan was born 16 August 1923, in Claude. Until he performed his act of sacrifice, his life had been that of any small town American boy. Charles attended the local high school and worked in a local garage.
The youth enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in December 1942. A rifleman in the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, he was already a veteran of bitter fighting when he threw himself upon a Japanese hand-grenade in the Peleliu landing, saving four Marines in his unit at the cost of his own life on 18 September 1944. Prior to his death, he had been in two previous battles-New Guinea and Cape Gloucester-and had seen 15 months of overseas duty. Besides the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart, he also held the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three battle stars.
Memorial services for PFC Roan took place at the Methodist Church in Claude on 8 April 1945.
World War II 1941-1945 Medal of Honor