Roy E. Young was born October 11, 1918 at Hambleton, Tucker County, West Virginia to William Young and Clara Rhodes. Not moving from the Tucker County area, by the time of Roy's entry into the armed forces, the family had relocated to nearby Hendricks.
Roy enlisted in the United States Army in August, 1935. He served his first tour of duty stateside as he was assigned to Camp Holabird, Maryland. It was during this first tour of duty that Roy fell in love and married a Maryland girl by the name of Thelma V. Gray of Dundale, Maryland. They were married in Baltimore on October 23, 1938.
After serving three years he reenlisted on November 12, 1939 and was sent overseas to the Pacific on April 27, 1940 to serve in the Philippines where he was assigned to General Wainwright's forces as a private first-class. Roy served with great dignity in the Philippines, but was captured by the Japanese as a prisoner of war when the army in Manila Bay was forced to surrender following the fall of Corregidor.
Roy was held as a prisoner of war in the Philippines for two years. While being transported to Japan on the Arisan Maru, Roy lost his life on October 24, 1944 when the unmarked ship was torpedoed by an Allied submarine in the South China Sea. His death was received by the War Department on June 16, 1945.
Roy was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and his body was buried at sea. In recognition of his honorable service in World War II, and for his ultimate sacrifice, Roy E. Young's name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines, and Roy's was one of the original names inscribed on the West Virginia Veterans Memorial.
Hellships of World War II
West Virginia Veterans Memorial Archives Database
West Virginia Archives and History