Iowa State Memorial Union

Roger Carroll - Specialist Four

Rank: Specialist Four
Date Of Birth: : Jul 26, 1949
Date Of Death: Oct 30, 1969
War / Conflict: Vietnam
Hometown: Council Bluffs, Iowa
Gold Star Hall - Wall Location: Southeast Wall (Top Portion)
Service Ribbons Awarded:
  • Distinguished Service Cross
  • Bronze Star with V (for valor)
  • Air Medal with V (for valor) (Somalia)
  • Army Commendation Medal with V (for valor)
  • Purple Heart
  • Viet Nam

Biography

Roger Eugene Carroll was born July 26, 1949 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was the second oldest of eight children, born to John and Audrey Carroll. His brothers and sisters are Charles, Faye, Lyla, Carla, Wade, Wray, and Gayle. 

Roger Carroll completed two years of schooling in rural country schools before they were closed in his area. He then attended the Walnut Community Schools, graduating from high school with the class of 1967.

Growing up he was very active in 4-H. He took on projects in several divisions including Woodworking, Electrical, Beef Cattle, and Dairy Cattle. He went to leadership camps in Ames and Madrid and became a leader to help and encourage younger 4H members. All eight Carroll kids were 4-H members, as were his Mom and Dad, and nieces and nephews.

In school he enjoyed chorus, was involved with FFA and participated in baseball, basketball, track and his most favorite - football. He was named to the All-Southwest Iowa Defense 1st team.

He was baptized, confirmed, and a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Avoca, Iowa.

Roger attended Iowa State University as a special student in Agriculture for one winter quarter, December 1968 to February 1969.

In February 1969 he entered the US Army and by June he was stationed in Vietnam. Roger was a gunman for helicopter rescue missions.

Late in 1969, the Carrolls got a letter stating that on the afternoon of October 30, Roger was a Team Leader for a ground patrol sent to aide a Ranger Team in contact with the enemy in Tay Ninh Province, Vietnam. As he moved along the trail, Roger spotted a squad of North Vietnamese setting up an ambush position. Stealthily, he maneuvered into a concealed point of observation, noting automatic weapons and light machine guns. He then acted quickly to disrupt the enemy plan. Bursting into the ambush site, he single handedly assaulted the emplacement, firing at the enemy encircled around him. Although enemy soldiers emerged from the underbrush to subdue him, he continued to fire until he was mortally wounded. Roger’s patrol was attempting to rescue eight fellow soldiers surrounded by attacking enemy forces.

For his actions under fire, Roger received the Distinguished Service Cross, which is second only to the Medal of Honor, the highest medal the US awards. The Distinguished Service Cross is awarded for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy - to those who distinguish themselves by heroism so notable and involving risk of life so extraordinary that it sets the soldier apart from his comrades. His was only the 3rd DSC to be given in the state of Iowa at the time of its award.

He also received the Bronze Star, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal for Valor, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantry Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Ribbon.

Roger Eugene Carroll was honored by his country, parents, family, and friends --- but those who knew him were the honored ones!

Those who knew him growing up knew the country boy who worked hard, played harder, and never said no to someone who needed help. He carried these qualities with him in his service to his country.

Rogers' memory is honored at the Walnut Community School, Walnut Memorial Fireman's Park, at Bayliss Park in Council Bluffs, Iowa, at the Shelby County Fairgrounds, and the Courthouse in Harlan, Iowa. 

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