James Lewis Allender
New Underwood, South Dakota
February 19, 1924 - April 9, 1945
Allender was born on February 19, 1924 in Rapid City, South Dakota to parents
Lewis Ray and Louise Rose (Coursen) Allender. He had four brothers: David,
Charles, Kenneth, and Joseph.
James attended several grade schools and attended high
school for two years in Rapid City before finishing his schooling in Owanka,
where he graduated on May 16, 1941. He continued to work on the home ranch
until the war.
James was drafted into the Army on May 25, 1944. He took
his physical exam in Ft. Crook, NE. He then attended basic training at Camp
Croft in South Carolina and was inducted into Company L, 394th
Infantry. He left for overseas in December of 1944. He was then stationed in
the United Kingdom where he attained the rank of PFC (private first class).
While on assignment he wrote home to his grandmother and
aunt on March 1, 1945, stating, “ It’s a beautiful day in Chicago, but who’s in
Chicago is what I want to know?” During his stay overseas he was hospitalized
with pneumonia in Belgium, and then hospitalized again with stomach disorders.
While on a combat mission in Germany with the infantry,
PFC James Lewis Allender was reported missing in action and later hospitalized
with wounds on the same day that he died – April 9, 1945. He was buried in
Ittenback, Germany, and was later reburied in Plot KK, Row 10, Grave 234, U.S.
Military Cemetery in Margraten, Holland. Eventually his remains were sent home,
and he was buried in the Black Hills National Cemetery on April 19, 1949. The
army chaplain of his brigade said, “ His service was a credit to himself and his
This entry was
respectfully submitted by Zane Volmer, Kevin Tifft, and Chance Trask, 12th
grade, Wall High School, Wall, South Dakota, May 2, 2002. Information for this
entry was provided by Mr. Joseph Allender, Rapid City, South Dakota, brother of
Army PFC James Lewis Allender.