II Hero Conrad "Snookie" Derouen Jr. was killed in action by a
Japanese Sniper on July 17, 1944.
Portrait of Conrad "Snookie" Derouen hangs
in the Acadian Museum in Erath.
Talented track stars participate in the annual Snooks Relays at Erath High
School each spring. It is an annual event which draws the best track champions
in the area.
Track and field began at EHS when a new stadium was
constructed in 1953. With Bob Segura as an outstanding head track coach, he led
his team to the state championships for nine years, as well as implementing the
Snooks Relays Track Meet.
With the cinder track set in a new stadium in the
early fifties, additional funds were needed to complete concrete curbing around
the new EHS track. Conrad Derouen, a successful Erath businessman, graciously
donated money to complete the project. As a way of appreciation for additional
funds provided, Erath High School dedicated it's new established relays to
Derouen's son, who was killed in World War II.
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 an. Mr.
and Mrs. Aurelian "Cap" Theriot. Derouen is remembered as an outstanding
athlete, who fit the bill of the "all American kid".
Following his graduation at Erath
High School in 1937, he graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Masters
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 U.S. Marine Corps. During his tour of duty in WW II, Derouen was killed when
he was shot in the neck by a Japanese sniper on July 17, 1944. On July 18, 1944,
at the very young age of twenty three, "Snookie" Derouen was buried at sea,
never to return home to Erath.
On April 9, 1945, both Derouen's widow and mother,
traveled to New Orleans to receive the Navy Cross from Rear Admiral A. C.
Bennett. He was posthumously awarded the Naval Cross for Gallantry in action.
Derouen died a hero's death. The Derouen-Moss American Legion Post #279 was
named for Derouen and Erath educator Louis Moss, who was also killed in WW II.
Under the direction of Erath High School Coach Robert Segura Sr., the first Snooks Relays Track Meet was held in the Spring of 1959. That year high school Jr, Phyllis Dronet
(Leblanc), daughter of Curney and Irene (Leblanc) Dronet, was
crowned the first Snooks Queen. Phyllis Dronet Leblanc a former teacher at Erath
The "Snooks Relays"
continues to be a prestigious track meet each year, in which
athletes attend by invitation only. Each spring, outstanding athletes compete,
not as teams, but as individuals. This competition calls for the best of the
best, which is a fitting tribute to its namesake, "Snookie" Derouen.
High School Principal Henry Bernard, is shown donating a
photograph of "Snookie" Derouen to his parents in 1959.
spring of 1959. the first Snoooks Queen and Court were
named. The EHS Snooks Queen was Phyllis Dronet
(Leblanc). Her maids were Anna Brown (Saunier), Gloria
Richard and Ann Broussard (Clostio). The Queen is being crowned by
her father Curney Dronet Sr.