|Born||1 Apr 1888|
|Died||12 Sep 1969|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseTerry de la Mesa Allen was born in Fort Douglas, Utah, United States to Colonel Samuel Edward Allen and Conchita de la Mesa, daughter of a Spanish-American colonel. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1907, but was discharged after failing two courses, including an ordinance and gunnery course in his senior year in 1912. He completed his education by acquiring a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and entered the US Army as a graduate of the university's Reserve Officer Training Corps on 30 Nov 1912. In 1913, he served under General John J. Pershing along the US-Mexican border. He married Mary Frances Robinson in Jun 1928, and had a son in 1929 who eventually would become an army officer as well.
ww2dbaseDuring WW1, Allen served in France as the commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion of the US 358th Infantry Regiment of the US 90th Division, with the war-time rank of major. In France, he was remembered as a fearless leader who did not hesitate from personally leading patrols into no-man's land. He remained in Germany as an officer in the occupation forces until Sep 1920. In Jun 1924, he completed courses from the Cavalry School at Fort Riley, Kansas, United States, in 1926 a course at the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and in Jun 1935 the Army War College in Washington, D.C.
ww2dbaseOn 1 Oct 1940, a year before the US entered WW2, Allen was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. When the war began for the US in Dec 1941, he became the assistant division commander of the US 36th Infantry Division. Between 19 Jun 1942 and Sep 1943, he headed the US 1st Infantry Division "Big Red One" in North Africa and Sicily. As the head of the 36th Infantry Division, he was known for his tendency to push his men to fight the hardest but at the same time for his compassion to make sure his men got all they deserved, even if it was just an extra pair of dry socks. To some he was as flamboyant as his commander George Patton, and he had the list of victories to back him up. The combat records solely did not impress his superiors, however; his compassion for his men spoiled them, and the officers viewed the men of the 1st Infantry Division as undisciplined and a disgrace for the US Army. Patton, himself unorthodox and popular, held Allen as a valuable and talented colleague, therefore allowing Allen to maintain his position. When Patton lost part of his influence for the "slapping incident", Allen suffered, too. He was relieved of command and sent back to the US the head up the 104th Division, consisted of mostly draftees and other newly enlisted personnel. In Oct 1944, however, Allen was given another chance. The 104th Infantry Division fought its way into Germany by means of France and Belgium. When WW2 ended in 1945, he held the reputation of never losing a single battle in the war; in fact, he had never lost a battle in his entire career.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, Allen retired on 31 Aug 1946 at the rank of major general. He passed away in 1969 in El Paso, Texas, United States. He now rests in peace at the National Cemetery at Fort Bliss, Texas besides his son, who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1967.
ww2dbaseSources: 104th Infantry Division, Find a Grave.
Terry Allen Timeline
|1 Apr 1888||Terry Allen was born.|
|12 Sep 1969||Terry Allen passed away.|
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