“We ignored his pleas. Eugene Roe, our medic, crouched to give him some help. Bullets flew around us.” From Easy Company Soldier—By Dan Malarkey and Bob Welch
By Gerry Roe
I am very interested in military history. Especially as it pertains to the military men on my family tree. There is a long line of military men in my family genealogy. As far as I can tell the line begins with my four times great grandfather, Private Samuel McCormick, who served in the Continental Army in the 1770’s. The line continues through the generations to my eldest great-nephew, retired Senior Chief Michael Gene Carroll, who retired from the US Navy in 2014.
For this blog post I am going to highlight the achievements of one relative, one man of service, my father’s cousin, US Army Sgt. Eugene Gilbert Roe.
Sargent Eugene Roe, served during World War II. He served from December 12, 1942 to November, 1945. He was in Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. He parachuted into Normandy with Easy Company on 6 June 1944 as part of Operation Overlord. He was part of the allied forces that defended Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. He was also involved in the occupation of Germany and treated the prisoners of a concentration camp they found in Landsberg.
He was known by the men he served with as Doc Roe.
A book titled Easy Company Soldier was written by his fellow Sargent Don Malarkey and author Bob Welch. The book includes Malarkeys’ reminiscences of Eugene Doc Roe In one passage Malarkey recalls, “I burst in the door, breathing hard. Our medic, Eugene Roe, was up to his elbows in blood, patching soldiers right and left; by now, he was already a seasoned veteran with the wounded, able to patch and diagnose in a quiet, methodical way. That’s a Purple Heart wound, Malarkey, he calmly said, hardly looking up from wrapping a bandage around the chest of some soldier naked from waist up.” In another passage the author recalled Roe working to save lives in frigid weather. “Sometimes, if a guy got hit, Roe was having to tuck the plasma bottle in his armpit to keep the stuff from freezing.”
Eugene Gilbert Roe received a Purple Heart for his injury after Normandy and on the way to Holland on 17 September, he was wounded in the leg and away from his unit a few days.
The Company left Holland on 26 November. They headed to Bastogne as part of the Battle of the Bulge occurring on 17 December. He assisted with evacuating the wounded men to a hospital in Bastogne. This is just a sample of his actions during combat.
He received both the Medal of Valor and Bronze Star for his services to the country he so valiantly served.
Eugene Gilbert Roe was a member of the Greatest Generation.
Post Script: To read more about Doc Roe google Eugene Gilbert Roe or read the book Easy Company Solider written by Sgt Bob Malarkey with Bob Welch.
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I love Bob Welsh! How amazing that you are related to Doc Roe.