Someone who deserves his own memorial
To the editor:
Back when Bill Clinton was “outed” for “weaseling” out of the Vietnam War, I asked my Dad, who served in the Pacific with the Navy Sea Bees in World War II, his take on the situation. Without rancor he named names of some locals who did likewise but went on to comment about his boyhood friend, “Pooch”/ “Bus” Allen (William P. Allen Jr.). “Pooch”/ “Bus” had severe hearing problems and could have honorably kept out of the war, but somehow he wrangled his way into the Army and was killed in action in Luxembourg in January 1945. He was 30-years old at the time and left a wife, Dorothy, a daughter, Patty, and a son, Richard.
I am enclosing a related article, with picture, which appeared in The Sentinel circa February 1945. I find it ironic that some worry themselves sick over memorializing Clinton with a library or re-erecting Mr. Paterno’s statue, when if they had any character or honor it was only a fraction of what “Pooch” had. Yet his only recognition is a 12″x 24″ flat tombstone in the St. Mark’s Community Cemetery in Lewistown.
Thanks to Eddie Lewis, former assistant basketball coach at Lewistown High, for his help gathering this information.
PVT. WILLIAM P. ALLEN
The Purple Heart has been awarded posthumously to Private William P. Allen Jr, who died Jan. 18, 1945, from wounds received in action on January 7 in Luxembourg. Mrs. Dorothy Allen, 24 Terrace Boulevard received a letter from her husband’s chaplain, Capt. Clarence E. Younce, as follows:
“Dear Mrs. Allen:
“There are many duties very pleasant in the chaplaincy, but this one I find very unpleasant. You have, probably, received word from the War Department of the death of your husband William. He died of wounds Jan. 18, 1945. I know there are many questions in your mind as there are in every wife’s heart.
“William was a rifleman in his company. As his company was occupying a small village somewhere in the country of Luxembourg he was wounded by enemy mortar fire. He died a few days later in the hospital. Everything possible in a medical way was done for him.
“His body was taken to an American cemetery somewhere in Luxembourg where he was buried with the honor due to an American soldier. Over his grave stands a Christian cross with information that will enable his grave to be identified. A Protestant chaplain officiated at the burial. His personal effects were turned over to proper authority where they will be sent through channels to you.
“May I assure you, Mrs. Allen, that all of us miss him very much. He was assistant squad leader. He was doing an excellent job. In this hour of sorrow and darkness I would remind you of One who is the Light of the World and who carries our burdens for us. He is Jesus, my Saviour. May His richest blessings be on you.
Clarence E. Younce,
Chaplain, U.S. Army”
Mrs. Allen received a letter from her husband’s captain and later from the Adjutant General, J.A. Ulio. His letter had additional information regarding Pvt. Allen’s death. Pvt. Allen’s unit was in the vicinity of Goesdorf, Luxembourg. The company was in a defensive position, out-posting the town to the north and northeast and the enemy attacked with an artillery barrage. Pvt. Allen sustained a shell wound.
Pvt. Allen was known to his friends as “Bus.” He was a graduate of Lewistown High School, class of ’34 and son of Mr and Mrs. W.P. Allen, 228 Terrace Boulevard.
Harold E. Powell Jr.