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Sergeant Mack Lawrence Allen*
U. S. Marine Corps
Service # 424285

____ __, 1925 – February 26, 1945
Kosse Cemetery,
Limestone County, Texas

Gold Star Mother
Annie Jewel (Haley) Allen

Sergeant Mack Lawrence Allen, United States Marine Corps [___ __, 1925 – February 26, 1945] was born to John R. Allen [February 23, 1894 – April 11, 1966] and Annie Jewel (Haley) Allen [April 12, 1899 – September 8, 1961] at Mercedes City, Hidalgo County, Texas**. He died at Pearl Harbor on the Island of Oahu, Territory of Hawaii of an Unknown Cause. He was originally buried at Makawao Cemetery on Maui. In 1947 his remains were brought home for re-burial at the Kosse City Cemetery in Limestone County, Texas.  Kosse was his Mother’s hometown. 

Maui was centrally involved in the Pacific Theater of WWII as a staging center, training base, and for rest and relaxation.  At the peak in 1943-44, the number of troops stationed on Maui exceeded 100,000.  The main base of the 4th Marines was in Haiku.  Beaches (e.g. in Kihei) were used for practice landings and training in marine demolition and sabotage.  The Makawao Cemetery was near the Marine Corps main base camp.  His obituary in 1947 said he died at Pearl Harbor on the Island of Oahu (the big island);  the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu did not open until 1948, so the Makawao Cemetery was probably being used for military burials.  When he joined the Marine Corps his family was living at Mercedes, Hidalgo County, Texas.  At the time of his death he was survived by his parents, and two sisters:  Maxine and Maurine.  When his remains were returned to the United States for re-burial at Kosse, his sister Maurine was living in Bay City (married to John Ethelred Hammond) and the rest of his family was living at Edinburg, Hidalgo County, Texas.

Sergeant Allen was erroneously listed as a Matagorda County casualty by the War Department.  He most likely should have been listed as a Hidalgo County casualty.  No record of any type, other than his sister living in Bay City, has been located to associate him with Matagorda County. We are proud to honor him and carry his name on our Matagorda County War Memorial.


*Sergeant Allen’s given name was apparently mis-spelled by the War Department as March L. Allen, USMC, this with the error in his hometown compounded their mistake.


**The most extant record located is the 1930 census for Hidalgo County, Texas; the family is living in Mercedes City and Mack’s name is given as Mac.  Prior to that, in the 1920 census, his parents and two sisters are living in Pct.2, Cherokee County, Texas.

Military Rites Scheduled For Sgt. Mack Allen

Funeral services for Sergeant Mack L. Allen, USMC, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Allen of Edinburg and brother of Mrs. J. F. Hammond of Bay City, will be held Wednesday at 3 p. m. at Kosse, Texas.

Rev. Melvin A. Marshall, pastor of the First Baptist Church here, will be in charge of services. Rev. Scaly, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Kosse, will assist with the services. Burial will be in the Kosse Cemetery.

The remains of Sgt. Allen, the Mercedes Marine was among the first of the United States war dead to arrive in San Francisco aboard the Honda Knot. Sgt. Allen was listed among the 3000 aboard the ship, a converted Army transport bearing the remains of those who were first to fall at Pearl Harbor and shortly afterwards nearly six years ago.

Sgt. Allen was killed while on a government mission in Oahu, Hawaii, February 26, 1945. He had been to the Marine Corps three years prior to his death. He was serving with [the] communications office in Hawaii. He was 20 years old at the time he was killed.

Full military honors will be accorded the Marine Sergeant by Waco and Kosse Legionnaires.

Services are under the direction of the E. S. White Funeral home of Kosse.

The Daily Tribune, Tuesday, October 21, 1947

Bay Citian Among First of War Dead To Be Returned

Sgt. Mack Allen's Body Will Arrive in San Francisco Today

The remains of a Bay City Marine today was among the [first of] the United States' war dead to arrive in San Francisco aboard the Honda Knot, according to a dispatch from the Associated Press.

Sgt. Mack L. Allen, USMC, son of Mrs. Annie J. Allen, ___, was listed among the 3,000 aboard the Honda Knot, converted Army transport bearing the remains of those who were the first to fall at Pearl Harbor five years and 10 months ago.

Mrs. Allen was unavailable today, and information concerning her son and his war record were not available.

SAN FRANCISCO. Oct. 10. (UP)--The nation's flag flew at half staff today as America paused to pay reverent tribute to the first of her war dead returning home from battlefield graves.

The funeral ship Honda Knot, a converted Army transport, was slated to steam through the Golden Gate shortly before noon, bringing back the first of "the boys who didn't come home."

In her hold were some 3,000 brown steel caskets mostly bearing the remains of those who were the first to fall at Pearl Harbor five years and 10 months ago.

The Honda Knot's arrival had marked the tangible beginning of the Army's "operation taps" the vast reburial program under which more than 250,000 known war dead will be returned from overseas graves in the Pacific and in Europe.

The European phase of the operation gets underway on Oct. 26 when an identical transport arrives in New York harbor bringing the first bodies from the U. S. military cemetery, Henri Chapelle, Belgium.

The great grey transport will drop anchor and pause for a time off San Francisco's Marina Green where the City's bereaved gather to pay a simple, heartfelt tribute to the vessel's silent passengers.

A national memorial service will be led by Mayor Roger Lapham, aided by civic, religious, veterans and military leaders, including Secretary of the Navy John J. Sullivan and Gen. Mark Clark, Sixth Army commandant. The religious services will be conducted jointly by the Protestant, Catholic and Jewish churches. They will be represented by the Rev. Hughbert H. Landrum, Archbishop John J. Mitty and Rabbi Morris Goldstein.

From the shoreside service, the Honda Knot will proceed to the San Francisco port of embarkation dock at Fort Mason, Oakland, where the first of the caskets will be unloaded.

Six of the flag-draped caskets will be taken to the rotunda of the San Francisco City Hall to lie in state throughout tomorrow. They will symbolize the heroes of the five services and the civilian casualties of the war.

Though it is by far the largest, this operation is not the first of its kind in the nation's history. Similar operations followed the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and World War I.

The Daily Tribune, October 10, 1947

John R. Allen, Feb. 23, 1894 - Apr. 11, 1966 & Annie Jewel Allen, Apr. 12, 1899 - Sept. 8, 1961
Kosse City Cemetery, Kosse, Limestone County, Texas
Photo courtesy of Bruce and Linda Jordan


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Jan. 25, 2006
Sep. 8, 2007