SGM John B. Allan — Info needed!

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Special Forces
Rest In Peace
Jul 16, 2008
Seattle, Puget Sound — PNW
I have a friend that is dealing with this persons funeral & estate and needs to verify this info, anybody know this person? His history is that of a real hero IMO.

SGM John B. Allan.

The information I have is that he served with the following units:

101st Airborne Division
505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division
Korean Military Advisory Group
9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division
23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division
10th Special Forces Group, 77th Special Forces Group, 7th Special Forces Group and 1st Special Forces Group
Phoenix Program
Headquarters, Department of the Army (Pentagon), Office of the Sergeant Major of the Army

Combat assignments:

World War II

North African Campaign
Invasion of Sicily
Italian Campaign
Operation Overlord (Invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944). John survived his unit’s parachute drop over St. Mere Eglise, but was severely injured. He was subsequently evacuated to Britain and then to U. S. for hospitalization.

Korean Conflict

Pusan Breakout
Bloody Ridge
Hill 201
Heartbreak Ridge


Dien Bien Phu (as U. S. military observer to French Foreign Legion)

Three combat tours in Southeast Asia with Special Forces and the Phoenix Program (CIA) between 1959 and 1968.
DD 214.

I know you know this, but you've already got a lot of info on this dude. Is it anecdotal, or verified?

No disrepect --- many of us remember the fire at Ft. Ben in '76, where his records may have disappeared, but many VN vets have gone back and re-constructred their reords.

Again, TW, ya'll need to see his DD 214.

While I hope it all goes well for your friend, an American at Dien Bien Phu? There were aircrews, and one was KIA, but none of those gentlemen were SF.

I wish you all the best in sorting this out.
Of course, I posted this same info on the SFA and PS Websites. There has been a few good snips of info (The Obit and Pic) on the PS Site. I'm glad that I don't have to sort this out as I do see why the inconsistencies flag came up. I'm still hoping that someone in the SF Community actually served with home in Vietnam. I'm passing any data to my friend as I get it.
It appears he is wearing an Army Achievement Medal next to an ARCOM. IIRC the AAM didn't appear until 1981, and he retired in 1971?

No blue disc behind his Infantry branch insignia (where is the SF insignia?), skill badges on the wrong side, lets just say one to many unit awards :doh:

I am not talking shit, but it's hard to believe a SGM would have a dicked up uniform like that...
JMUA was established in 1981;retroactive awards back to 1979. Sadly; he has embellished his military career. SIL is a 1st Sgt; I feel for him.
Obit says he retired in 1971. MFO ribbon he's wearing (bottom row) wasn't established until 1982.
Hate to pile on the guy. But the Air Assualt Badge was created in 1978 and was retro awarded for wearing if you completed an air assualt course from 1974 to present. Thats not a badge he is authorized to wear.

Thanks to each of you who have tried to help us sort out the details needed to verify or invalidate John Allan's military record. I am in possession of Allan's DD 214 which includes an impressive list of awards received, to include the DSC, Silver Star, Bronze Star with 3 devices for valor, Purple Heart with 2 Oak Leaves, and others over a 30-year career. The 214 lists Allan's unit at retirement as HQ Co 505th reg 82nd Airborne at Ft. Bragg, NC.

In my opinion, John has embellished his record and his service history. John was 94 years of age when he passed, and may have suffered the too-common "Old-Timers-Disease." The photo referenced above also reflects inaccurate placement of Pathfinder skill badge and what looks to me like the Air Assault Badge and as has been noted, the AAM which was not authorized until after Allan's retirement in 1971. However, a second document, DA1569 "Transcript of Military Record" provides a date of 28 March, 1979.

I am still unsure of some of the detail, and because I am the Officiant for John's memorial service I do not wish to publicly state claims that are untrue. If anyone has further insight or information, it will be gladly received until 9 AM, 6 MAR. (Service to be conducted at 1000 hours).


He is my father

I haven't seen or spoken to him in nearly 22 years, but from what I know all the awards and medals are not justly earned. I am not military, so I don't know all the things you guys are talkinng about. My Mom was married to him 74-88, and she did some digging around when his stories didn't add up. I do not want to speak to what I don't know, but almost everything I heard growing up were untrue. I always understood that he was born in 1928, not 1915 as he said. I think that he might have made himself older to make his stories more credible. I have the utmost respect for you guys, and I hate to write this, but I don't want untruths to keep going. I am going to be requesting his army records ASAP so I can finally find out once and for all what the truth is. I'll post again once I get them. Sincerely, Sean Allan
Welcome to the boards, Sean. In the military community we have a hard time because of the "posers" who flat out lie about their accomplishments - generally they seek the highest honors. Hence this is now a federal crime courtesy of the Stolen Valor Act. We are not saying your father is one of these. It could be simply he indulged in a little too much puffery or his memories are quite what he remembered.

Regardless. Thank you for being honest with us and I'm sorry for your loss. Your father served - and we all honor him for that.

It would seem that 'Flash' has come up with this person's DD 214 and I also agree that this person might have embellished some of the info that got into the Obit. Still IMO he is a Veteran and a hero (DSC, SS, etc.) I'm thinking that Flash is the friend that asked me to check into this matter. He (if it is him) is working with an adopted daughter of Allan. I also had contact with a member of SFA Chapter 16, who invited Allan to a Chapter picnic awhile back and befriended Allan. He mentioned that Allan had told him some pretty wild tales. As far as I'm concerned I have no need of anymore info on this case. Sean, your Father is an American Hero in my eyes and deserves the respect such a Hero deserves!
Well said, Trip Wire - I agree with your valued sentiments.

And yep, I'm the friend who asked you to check into this. I owe you a Guinness or two anyway, so I guess it's time to pay up. Regarding Allan, I'm convinced that the DD 214 in my hands is genuine. John's own story (written by himself) seems pretty straightforward through WW2. His legal change of name looks legitimate as well.

Sean, thanks for doing your part. Your father served his nation during times of war and was discharged honorably. Whatever else may have transpired, he served. We honor that service.

Anything I can do to assist your search, please let me know.

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