For 242 years, U.S. Marines have had America’s back, defending it at all cost against some of the fiercest foes the world has ever known. November 10 marks the rise of the U.S. Marine Corps, and we’d like to say happy birthday to devil dogs everywhere.
In salute of our own Texas brand of sea soldiers, we wanted to highlight three distinguished Marines from the Lone Star State. The following are Medal of Honor recipients who fought in World War II.
William James Bordelon. Born in San Antonio in 1920, Bordelon enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1941, three days after the attack at Pearl Harbor. By 1943, he had worked his way up to the rank of staff sergeant and that same year was part of an assault on Japanese forces at Tarawa on November 30. Bordelon was one of a handful of Marines from his platoon to survive the initial beach landing there, though he was hit with machine gun fire and suffered other injuries. Wounded, the marine was still able to destroy four Japanese machine gun positions. He provided cover for others trying to make it onto the beach. And he rescued two wounded Marines from the water. He died from gun fire while attacking the fourth machine gun position. Along with his Medal of Honor, Bordelon was also posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.
Andrew Jackson Lummus Jr. Born in Ennis in 1915, Lummus played professional football and baseball before enlisting in the Marines in 1941. In March of 1945, Lummus, who by that time was a first lieutenant, was leading a rifle platoon against the Japanese at Iwo Jima. On March 8, after two days of fighting, Lummus led a charge and singlehandedly leveled three Japanese machine gun positions. His fearless attack ended when he stepped on a landmine. The Marine, who was also posthumously awarded a Purple Heart, died on the operating table at a field hospital the next day.
Charles Howard Roan. Born in Claude in 1923, Roan joined the Marines in 1942 and was shipped to the Pacific Theater the next year. There, Pfc. Roan fought the Japanese in New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago and the Palau islands. On September 18, 1944, Roan paid the ultimate price when he threw his body on top of a live enemy grenade that landed near him and his party. Five of his comrades were saved because of his selfless act. Along with the Medal of Honor, Roan was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
From all of us here at Veteran Energy, thank you, Marines, for all you’ve done and continue to do to keep us free from harm.