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Two Texas Medal of Honor recipients die in battle


On this day in 1944, two Medal of Honor recipients from Texas were killed in separate actions during World War II. Lt. Robert G. Cole, born at Fort Sam Houston in 1915, was cited for "gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life" near Carentan, France, on June 11, 1944. He was personally leading his battalion in an attack on four bridges when the entire unit was pinned down by intense enemy fire from heavily fortified positions. After an hour, he issued orders to attack with fixed bayonets and personally led the assault. His heroic action so inspired his men that a secure bridgehead across the Douve River was established. Cole was killed by a sniper on September 18 during "Operation Market Garden" while taking the bridge at Best, Holland. Charles Howard Roan was born in Claude, Texas, in 1923. He volunteered for the United States Marine Corps in 1942 and was sent to the Pacific in June 1943. On September 18, 1944, Roan was with a party of five in the Palau Islands when a live grenade was thrown among them. Roan flung himself on the grenade and saved his comrades. He was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. A Texas historical marker has been placed on the Roan family plot in the cemetery in Claude. A destroyer in the United States Naval Fleet was named in Roan's honor.

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