Richard T. Allen
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|DATE OF BIRTH:
6/4/1942 – 4/9/1945
|DATE OF DEATH:|
|ROI-NAMUR||C/4th Amphibian Tractor Bn.||511||Sergeant|
|GUAM||C/4th Amphibian Tractor Bn.||511||Sergeant|
|LAST KNOWN RANK:
Little is known about Richard Allen’s life before he joined the Marine Corps on June 4, 1942.
After completing boot camp and receiving his qualifications as a rifle marksman at Parris Island, Allen he was placed on recruiting duty in Memphis, Tennessee. In an extraordinary turn of events, he was advanced a full four grades in one stroke, becoming a staff sergeant on October 5, 1942.
Such a promotion was extremely unusual, even under a reserve warrant (RW), and the reasons for this leap aren’t readily available. The most likely suggestion is that Allen had some previous military service, possibly with the Army, and the Marines figured that any experience was better than none. (Interestingly, a number of senior sergeants on the rolls of the Southern Recruiting Division have similarly steep promotion curves, though none appear to have been permanent.) Whatever the reason, Allen’s time as a Staff Sergeant was brief, and in the winter of 1942 his warrant was revoked for the more common rank of Private First Class.
In January, 1943, Allen joined the First Separate Battalion (Reinforced) at New River, North Carolina, as an assistant squad leader in Lt. Philip Wood’s weapons platoon. He traveled with the battalion to Camp Pendleton, California, and continued training through the summer of 1943.
Richard Allen was promoted to Corporal on August 3, 1943, and transferred to Company C, Fourth Amphibian Tractor Battalion three days later. He became the company’s armorer and received a promotion to Sergeant in January, 1944; Allen would see action in the invasions of Kwajalein (February 1944) and Guam (July 1944) before being hospitalized at Fleet Hospital #108 in September, 1944. Whether he has wounded in action, injured in the line of duty, or fell victim to a tropical disease is unknown, but his ailment was serious enough to warrant his evacuation by air to the mainland United States the following month.
Sergeant Allen was treated in Memphis before being transferred to the Staging Unit at Parris Island. His condition did not improve, and he was honorably discharged on April 9, 1945. Nothing is known about his life after the war.