About  Thomas E. Creek & Charles H. Roan



Who Was Thomas E. Creek?

Thomas E. Creek,

who was posthumously awarded the medal of honor for heroism during February 1969 in Vietnam, was born 7 April 1950 in Joplin, Missouri. He grew up in Amarillo, Texas and attended Forest Hill Elementary School, Horace Mann Jr. High School, and Palo Duro High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps 16 January 1968. He completed recruit training with the 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, in March 1968.  He received individual combat training with Company A, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendleton, in May 1968. He was promoted to Private First Class 1 June 1968.
In July 1968, he was transferred to the Republic of Vietnam. He first saw duty as a rifleman with Company E, Second Battalion, 27th Marines, Regimental Landing Team 27, 1st Marine Division. In September 1968, he was assigned duty as a fire team leader with Company 1, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, and was promoted to Lance Corporal on 1 November 1968.  While serving in the latter capacity, he was killed in action on 13 February 1969, near the Cam Lo resettlement village.  A complete list of medals and decorations include:  the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Lance Corporal Creek was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ross F. Creek Sr., of Amarillo, and two brothers.  Lance Corporal Creek's Medal of Honor was presented to his family on 20 April 1970 at the White House by Vice President Spiro T. Agnew.  The final resting place of Lance Corporal Thomas E. Creek, marked by a granite tombstone and two American flags, is just inside an entrance gate to the Llano city cemetery in Amarillo, Potter County, Texas.


Rank and organization: Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company 1, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine division (Rein), FMF.

Place and date: Near Cam Lo, Republic of Vietnam, 13 February 1969. Entered service at Amarillo, Texas. Born 7 April 1950, Joplin, Missouri.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, while serving as a rifleman with Company 1 in action against enemy forces.  L/Cpl. Creek's squad was providing security for a convoy moving to re-supply the Vandegrift Command Base when an enemy command detonated mine destroyed one of the vehicles and halted the convoy near the Cam Lo resettlement village. Almost immediately, the marines came under a heavy volume of hostile mortar fire followed by intense small arms fire from a well concealed enemy force. As his squad deployed to engage the enemy, L/Cpl. Creek quickly moved to a fighting position and aggressively engaged in the fire fight. Observing a position from which he could more effectively deliver fire against the hostile forces, he completely disregarded his own safety as he fearlessly dashed across the fire-swept terrain and was seriously wounded by enemy fire. At the same time, an enemy grenade was thrown into the gully where he had fallen, landing between him and several companions.  Fully realizing the inevitable results of his action, L/Cpl. Creek rolled on the grenade and absorbed the full force of the explosion with his body, thereby saving the lives of five of his fellow marines. As a result of his heroic action, his men were inspired to such aggressive action that the enemy was defeated and the convoy was able to continue its vital mission. L/Cpl. Creek's indomitable courage inspired both the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country. 


Established 1940

The Veterans Administration Hospital was constructed in 1939 and dedicated May 12, 1940.  The buildings are of early Spanish architecture with the first buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Recent construction has conformed to this style.

The VA Hospital site was on 360 acres of farm and ranchland and was self sufficient.  Cattle were raised and gardens maintained to feed veteran patients.  Most of the land was returned to the General Services Administration and subsequently Potter County.  In 1960, Potter County conveyed the land to what is now known as the Don and Sybil Harrington Regional Medical Center.  This area includes Northwest Texas Health Care System, Baptist St. Anthony's Health Care System, Harrington Cancer Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and other health related organizations.

The name of the Amarillo VA Medical Center was officially changed to the Thomas E. Creek Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center on November 30, 2004.*  It is now located on approximately 43 acres and continues to provide general medical and surgical inpatient care and primary/specialty care.  It is a part of what is now the Amarillo VA Health Care System which, with the addition of Community Based Outpatient Clinics located in Lubbock, Texas; Clovis, New Mexico; and Childress, Texas provides care to veterans throughout the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, eastern New Mexico and southern Kansas.

Initially 152,000 square feet, the Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center has grown to 360,000 square feet with the construction of a clinical addition in 1987, followed by a 120-bed nursing home care unit in 1990, and the Medical Arts Building in 1996.  An eight-room Hospitality House for veterans and/or family members was built in 1997 through combined efforts of the Health Care System and volunteers. 




Charles Howard Roan

Private First Class Charles Howard Roan, United States Marine, World War II Medal of Honor recipient
Born    August 16, 1923
Claude, Texas
Died    September 18, 1944 (aged 21)
KIA on Peleliu
Allegiance    United States of America
Service/branch    United States Marine Corps
Years of service    1942-1944
Rank    Private First Class
Unit    2nd Battalion, 7th Marines
Battles/wars    World War II
New Guinea
Cape Gloucester
Battle of Peleliu
Awards    Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
Private First Class Charles Howard Roan (August 16, 1923-September 18, 1944) was a United States Marine who sacrificed his life to save those of four fellow Marines in the landing on Peleliu during World War II. For his heroism, he posthumously received his nation's highest military honor — the Medal of Honor.
On July 21, 1945, in 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.
•    1 Biography
o    1.1 Early years
o    1.2 Marine Corps service
•    2 Medal of Honor citation
•    3 Namesakes
•    4 See also
•    5 References
•    6 External links
[edit] Biography
[edit] Early years
Charles Howard Roan was born August 16, 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.
[edit] Marine Corps service
The youth enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in December 1942. A rifleman in the 2nd 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 September 18, 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. In addition to 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 in the Methodist Church in Claude on April 8, 1945.
[edit] Medal of Honor citation
For his actions at Peleliu in 1944 the Medal of Honor was awarded to Roan with the following citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese Forces on Peleliu, Palau Islands, 18 September 1944. Shortly after his leader ordered a withdrawal upon discovering that the squad was partly cut off from their company as a result of their rapid advance along an exposed ridge during an aggressive attack on the strongly entrenched enemy, Private First Class Roan and his companions were suddenly engaged in a furious exchange of hand grenades with Japanese forces emplaced in a cave on higher ground and the rear of the squad. Seeking protection with four other Marines in a depression the rocky, broken terrain, Private First Class Roan was wounded by an enemy grenade which fell close to their position and, immediately realizing the imminent peril to his comrades when another grenade landed in the midst of the group, unhesitatingly flung himself upon it, covering it with his body and absorbing the full impact of the explosion. By his prompt action and selfless conduct in the face of almost certain death, he saved the lives of four men. His great personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his comrades.
[edit] Namesakes
The United States Navy destroyer, the USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853) was named in his honor.
The Texas State Veterans Home in Amarillo, opened in 2007, bears the name of Charles H. Roan.
PFC Roan's name is inscribed on the Wall of the Missing at the American Battlefield Monuments Commission Cemetery outside the city of Manila, Philippines.
A memorial marker in honor of Roan is located in the Claude Cemetery, Armstrong County, Texas




USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853)
Career (US)     
Namesake:    Charles H. Roan
Laid down:    2 April 1945
Launched:    15 March 1946
Commissioned:    12 September 1946
Decommissioned:    1973
Struck:    21 September 1973
Homeport:    Newport, Rhode Island
Nickname:    The Jolly Cholly
Fate:    transferred to Turkey 1973
Career (Turkey)     
Name:    TCG Mareşal Fevzi Çakmak (D 351)
Acquired:    1973
Fate:    Scrapped 1995
General characteristics
Displacement:    2,425 tons
Length:    390.5 ft (119.0 m)
Beam:    41.1 ft (12.5 m)
Draught:    18.5 ft (5.6 m)
Speed:    35 knot (64.8 km/h)
Complement:    367
Armament:    6 x 5 in/38 guns,
10 x 21 in torpedo tubes
USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853) was a Gearing-class destroyer of the United States Navy. The ship was named after Charles Howard Roan, a Marine who lost his life in action on the island of Palau.
Roan was built by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Fore River Shipyard at Quincy, Massachusetts, launched on 15 March 1946, and commissioned on 12 September 1946.
From her home port at Newport, Rhode Island, Charles H. Roan operated through 1960 on training exercises along the east coast and in the Caribbean. Typifying the manifold missions of the destroyer, she trained with aircraft carriers, with submarines, in convoy escort exercises, and in amphibious operations. In addition, she gave service as part of the midshipman training squadron, as engineering school ship for Destroyer Force, Atlantic, and in North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercises.
•    1 1950s
•    2 1960s and 1970s
•    3 Transfer to Turkish navy
•    4 References
•    5 External links
On her first overseas deployment, Charles H. Roan sailed from Newport 9 February 1948 for a cruise which took her to the Mediterraneanand service with the 6th Fleet, then into the Persian Gulf. She returned to Newport 26 June, and took up the training schedule necessary to prepare her for a 1949 Mediterranean tour. In 1950 her armament was extensively altered, and her next lengthy cruise came in summer 1953, when she carried midshipmen to South American ports.
On 2 August 1954, the Charles H. Roan stood down Narragansett with her division on the first leg of a round the world voyage. She sailed on to the western Pacific for 5 months of operations with the 7th Fleet, on patrol in the Taiwan Straits, and in carrier and amphibious exercises off Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines. The division took departure from Subic Bay, 20 January 1955, and continued westward to call at Persian Gulf ports, transit the Suez Canal, and visit in the Mediterranean before returning to Newport 14 March. She resumed her training operations until 7 Julv, when she was ordered north to take station as a picket off Iceland and Greenland during the flight ofPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Geneva Summit.
Charles H. Roan's next Mediterranean cruise began with her sailing from Newport 14 September 1956 to join the 6th Fleet. With the eruption of the Suez crisis that fall, she patrolled in the eastern Mediterranean. Since the Suez Canal was now blocked, December foundCharles H. Roan bound for the Cape of Good Hope, rounding the African continent for 2 months of duty with the Middle East Force. Between 20 and 27 January 1957, she served as flagship for the Force Commander in a passage up the Shatt-al-Arab to visit Basra, Iraq. Her return passage to Newport found her rounding the Cape of Good Hope once more, and she reached home 3 April, in good time to take part in the International Naval Review in Hampton Roads in June. Late summer saw her crossing the Atlantic once more for visits toPlymouth, England, and Copenhagen, Denmark, while participating in North Atlantic Treaty Organization Operation "Strikeback."
Arriving at Annapolis on 12 July 1958 to take the midshipmen on board, Charles H. Roan got underway on what was to be a brief cruise. But plans swiftly changed upon the outbreak of the trouble in the Middle East which led to the landing of Marines by the fleet in Lebanon. First, Charles H. Roan proceeded to Norfolk, Virginia, to take on board additional stores and ammunition necessary for a lengthy deployment, then sailed south to escort an amphibious group to training operations designed as preparation for any extension of the Middle Eastern trouble. She proceeded on across the Atlantic, arriving at Naples 14 August to transfer the midshipmen to other ships. Thus released, she sailed on to the coast of Lebanon, where she and Forrest Royal (DD-872) patrolled in support of the forces ashore. Now trouble flared up in the Far East, as the Chinese Communists resumed the bombardment of the Chinese Nationalist-held offshore islands. Charles H. Roan and Forrest Royal joined the Essex (CVA-9) group, augmenting the screen of two destroyers already accompanying the carrier. The group passed through the Suez Canal on 29 August 1958, and until 27 September 1958, she patrolled off Taiwan. Her return passage to Newport took her around the Cape of Good Hope. She arrived home on 18 November 1958 to a welcome in Narragansett Bay.
[edit]1960s and 1970s
Adding to her list of historic operations, in the summer of 1958, Charles H. Roan participated in Operation "Inland Sea," the first passage of a naval force through the Saint Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes. She visited many ports and took part in the ceremonies dedicating the Seaway. The 31 March 1960 found her again arriving in the Mediterranean for a cruise which included duty with the key Middle East Force, and visits to many Persian Gulf ports. Returning to Newport in October, Charles H. Roan operated off the east coast for the remainder of the year.
Roan was decommissioned in 1973 and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 21 September 1973.
[edit]Transfer to Turkish navy
Roan was then transferred to the Turkish government, where she was known as the TCG Mareşal Fevzi Çakmak (D 351) in the Turkish Navy. She took part in Operation Atilla during Cyprus conflict in 1974. At 21 July 1974, together with Turkish destroyer D-354 Kocatepe, she was subjected to friendly fire from Turkish warplanes and heavily demaged after being mistaken for a Greek ship. She was stricken and scrapped in April 1995.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.















© 2016 by Roan Creek Marine Corps League.