Captain Robert E. Roeder
Captain Robert E. Roeder is being inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame for Valorous Combat Leadership and for gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions on 27-28 September 1944 at Mount Battaglia, Italy, where he gave his life in service to his country.
CPT Roeder was born on 25 July 1917 in Summit Station, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. He was killed in action on 28 September 1944 at the age of 27 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.
After his commissioning as an Infantry officer from the Army OCS at Fort Benning, Georgia, in June 1942, Roeder was eventually promoted to the rank of Captain and took command of Company G, 350th Infantry Regiment, 88th Infantry Division, in the Italian campaign.
CPT Roeder commanded his company in the defense of the strategic Mount Battaglia. Completely exposed to ceaseless enemy artillery fire and small arms fire, Captain Roeder constantly circulated among his men, encouraging them and directing their defense. During the enemy’s sixth counterattack, the Germans, by using flamethrowers and taking advantage of the fog, succeeded in overrunning Company G’s position. Captain Roeder led his men in a fierce battle at close quarters to repulse the attack with heavy losses to the Germans. The following morning, repulsing an enemy counterattack, he was seriously wounded and rendered unconscious by shell fragments. Refusing medical treatment, he picked up a rifle, braced himself in a sitting position. He began firing his weapon, shouted words of encouragement, and issued orders to his men. He personally killed two Germans before he himself was killed instantly by an exploding shell.
CPT Roeder’s awards and decorations include the Medal of Honor, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Marksmanship Badge, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Army Presidential Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle eastern Campaign Medal.