Conrad C. Derouen*
Inducted on August 18, 2007
Erath native Conrad Snooks "Snookie" DeRouen, Jr., was born an only child on February 12, 1921 to Mr. and Mrs. Conrad DeRouen. He was the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. DeRouen and Mr. and Mrs. Aurelian "Cap" Theriot. He is remembered as an outstanding athlete, who fit the bill of the "all American kid."
DeRouen graduated from Erath High School in 1937, and subsequently attended Vanderbilt University, graduating with a master's degree in Health and Physical Education. He married the former Marguerite Domingues of Abbeville.
At twenty-one years old, he volunteered for service in the United States Marine Corps and was commissioned as a second lieutenant at Quantico, Virginia. Following additional training at Camp Pendleton, he was deployed to the Pacific theater during World War II, serving with the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Division.
While fighting against the Japanese forces in Saipan, Mariana Islands, on July 3, 1944, Lieutenant DeRouen endured continuous exposure to enemy fire in order to guide tanks into areas of combat. When communications systems failed, DeRouen seated himself behind the turret in order to continue the resistance.
In another assault on Japanese forces, later on July 8,1944, Lieutenant DeRouen, despite being wounded in the neck by shrapnel from an enemy grenade, refused to leave his post with the 1st Battalion to seek medical assistance and, instead, continued to fight at his station. DeRouen eventually collapsed due to pain and loss of blood and was carried off the field of battle by his comrades. He finally succumbed to his wounds on his ship and was buried at sea.
DeRouen's actions were an inspiration to the U.S. Marines he fought beside and contributed to the success of the campaign in the Mariana Islands. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery. Conrad DeRouen is the highest decorated veteran in the history of Erath, a real hero and someone deserving of a special honor—-the dedication and naming of the Erath (La.) Post Office in his memory.