In Memory of
Army Private First Class
Melvin Lee Allen
Kimball, South Dakota
Brule County
April 19, 1924 – April 21, 1945
Killed In Action in Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa

Melvin Lee Allen

Melvin Lee Allen was born in Kimball, South Dakota on April 19, 1924.  Melvin’s parents were James and Alice Allen.  He had two sisters, Joyce Allen and Marlene Allen.  Melvin’s hometown was Kimball, South Dakota where he attended the Kimball schools.  He married Lucille Dethlefson on August 7, 1942.  Melvin and Lucille had two children-Larry Lee and Connie LeAnne.  Allen was also know as “Spatty” to friends and family because of the way he dressed.

Melvin Allen enlisted in the Army in Kimball, South Dakota on November 11, 1943.  Private Allen was trained in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.  He was sent overseas in April of 1944, to Okinawa.  The Private was stationed in the Okinawa Islands.  Melvin’s Army rank was Private First Class.  Private Allen was in the 27th Infantry Division of the 10th Army.  Allen was involved in the Battle of Okinawa.

Private Allen’s last letter was written on March 19, 1945 and no further word was received from him or about him until Tuesday, June 6, 1945 when a briefly worded message from the war department announced his death date as April 21, 1945. Private Melvin Allen perished in the Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa on April 21, 1945, as a result of a bullet wound.  The private was buried in the Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa.  He was later moved to Sioux City, Iowa in Memorial Park.  Records of citations and awards were burned when the Records Building in Missouri caught on fire.  

The Chamberlain Register said of Private Allen:

Melvin is a mere youngster—the little boy next door—except that he had grown up, attained his majority—and died in defense of his country, all in the short span of 21 years, two days.  He was a likeable young man and those who knew him best extend their sincere sympathy to the sorrowing family.

Wife Lucille, son Larry, and daughter Connie survived Allen. James and Alice Allen and Joyce and Marlene Allen also survived Melvin.   Current survivors at this time are Larry Allen and Marlene Baker.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Zack Nelson, 8th Grade, Chamberlain Middle School, Chamberlain, SD, April 12, 2002.  Information for this entry was provided by Mr. Larry Allen, North Platte, Nebraska, son of Melvin Lee Allen.