Terry de la Mesa Allen
orn April 1st, 1888 in Fort Douglas, Utah, to Colonel Samuel Adams and Consuelo “Conchita” de la Mesa, Terry
Allen was destined to have a career in the Army. His father a former officer, who served in the army for 43 years was a West
Point graduate (1881) and raised his son to become one of the greatest soldiers. His mother, also an Army child was the daughter
of Carlos de la Mesa, a Spanish colonel who fought in the Civil War with the Union. Allen enrolled in West Point, New York
in 1907 and was to graduate with the class of 1911 but with his grades dropping during his
second year he was moved
back to the class of 1912.
Two years later, his senior year, he failed to pass a gun-
nery course and was discharged
from the school. After
being released he enrolled at the Catholic University of
America at Washington D.C. where
he dedicated his time
on his studies and was able to graduated with the class of
1912 with a degree
of Bachelor of Art.
Allen joined the army as a Second Lieutenant in 1912 and
from there and on
his military career grew with great success. Four years after being appointed Second Lieutenant Allen was offered to become
a First Lieutenant, and a year later he was appointed to Captain. When World War I arose Allen was asked to travel overseas
with troops. During the war Allen had great success returning with many decorations on his uniform for his bravery.
Between World War I and World War II Allen was promoted to Major and was given the control of the First Infantry Division.
Allen married in June 1928 Mary Frances Robinson, from of El Paso, Texas.
About a year later, 1929 Mary
and Terry celebrated the Birth of their first and only son Terry de la Mesa Allen Jr.
Soon after World War II
broke out and Allen was headed once again to the battlefield, where he was sent with his Division to North Africa. Just before
the cover story in Time Magazine was published, where Allen was recognized for his great success as a combat leader, on August
7, 1943, Allen was relieved from command. But shortly after Allen was asked to return and reassigned to lead the 104th Infantry,
also known as the Timberwolves.
Allen and the Timberwolves were recognized to be one of the best night fighters
battling in many combats in Europe including the Battle of the Bulge. Allen was describes by the Timberwolves as a “cocky,
tough, stubborn, friendly, honest, determined,
tireless, quick, aggressive, skillful and religious” chief. After
the end of the War Allen headed back home to his wife and son at El Paso, Texas. Allen then retired on August 31, 1946.
Years after his retirement his son followed
his steps entering the army and becoming a
soldier. But on September 1967 tragedy
struck the family. Their son a Lt. Col., who’s
hopes where to be
like his father was killed in
action in South Vietnam during the battle of
Ong Thang. He was serving with
the First Infan-
Try Division, where his father once served and
was killed while leading the brigade against the
Viet Kong near Lai Khe.
At the age of 81 Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen passed away on September 12,
1969 in El Paso, Texas. He was buried at the National Cemetery at Fort Bliss, with many other military honors.
Silver Star, Purple Heart with Oak Leave Cluster, Distinguished
Service Medal with oak Leaf Cluster, and the Legion
Honorary Companion of the most Honorable Order of the Bath (British);
French Croix de Guerre with Palm, the French order of the Legion of Honor; and the soviet
Order of Suvorov, Class II (Gold).
Links for Context:
Lopez, Nicholas. "Terry de la Mesa Allen-TIME Magazine August, 9 1943." 104TH
Infantry Division . N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2010.
"Terry Allen ." 104th Infantry Division. National Timberwolf Association, 7 Dec.
2009. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. <http://www.104infdiv.org/ALLEN.HTM>.
Austo, Gerald. Terrible Terry Allen:
The Soldiers' General . N.p.: The Balantine
Publishing Group, 2003. Print.
for Pictures (in order of appearance):