Private First Class Charles W. Roberts


Service Number: 350567

Birth and Early Life:
Charles Roberts was from Saltville, Virginia, the son of Mr. W. R. Roberts. He was approximately 20 years old at the time of his enlistment.

Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Roberts enlisted in the Marines on January 13, 1942; he trained at Parris Island and shortly thereafter was chosen for the First Marine Raider Battalion, then forming at Quantico, Virginia.

Wartime Service:
Private Roberts was back in his native state only briefly; the Raiders soon shipped out for the Pacific and spent months training and organizing at Tutulia, American Samoa. Roberts excellent at the difficult Raider regimen, and was rewarded with a promotion to PFC on July 1, 1942.

On August 7, Roberts’ Company C landed on Tulagi in the Solomon Islands; after destroying the Japanese garrison there, they were ferried over to Guadalcanal where they raided the village of Tasimboko. From there, they moved inland to take up defensive positions along a rise that would soon be known as Edson’s Ridge – or Bloody Ridge.

Date Of Loss:
Roberts was killed in action during a Japanese attack on his company’s position, likely on the night of September 12-13. His company was tasked with defending an advanced position and was overrun; due to the nature of the ground, several Marines were left behind or cut off by the enemy. His body, if found, was never identified.

Note: Roberts was probably killed when his company’s position was overrun on the night of September 12-13. Due to the nature of the battle, many of the company’s dead were not recovered for several days, and many were unrecognizable. However, a lack of definitive eyewitness accounts make this merely speculation. His official date of loss is given as September 14, 1942.

Next Of Kin:
Father, Mr. W. R. Roberts

Status Of Remains:

Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.

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