Roan, Charles Howard (1923–1944)

By: Frances Collins Christian

Type: Biography

Published: June 1, 1995

Charles Howard Roan, Medal of Honor recipient, son of Henry C. and Lillabel (Bacon) Roan, Sr., was born in Claude, Texas, on August 16, 1923. He attended local schools, was a member of the Methodist Church from the age of nine, and worked at a service station after school and on weekends. At seventeen he joined his brother, Henry C., Jr., in California. He volunteered for the United States Marine Corps in 1942. In June 1943 he was sent to the Pacific. From October 1943 until September 1944 he participated in action against the Japanese in Eastern New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and the Palau Islands. On September 18, 1944, Roan was isolated 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. His name is entered on the medallion in the American National Cemetery, Manila. 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.

Amarillo Daily News, July 22, 1945. Armstrong County Historical Association, A Collection of Memories: A History of Armstrong County, 1876–1965 (Hereford, Texas: Pioneer, 1965). Charles Roan Manuscript Collection, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas.

Time Periods:
  • World War II

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Frances Collins Christian, “Roan, Charles Howard,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 15, 2022,

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June 1, 1995