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 William Sherman Allen

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William Sherman Allen

Birth
Death 16 Jun 2011 (aged 92)
Burial Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas, USA
Memorial ID 71598917 View Source
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Honorable William Sherman Allen passed away June 16, 2011, of natural causes at his home in Overland Park, Kansas. Visitation will be held on Sunday, June 19, 2011, from 6-8:00 p.m. at D.W. Newcomer's Sons Overland Park Chapel, 8201 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS 66204. Funeral Service will be held Monday, June 20, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 11485 S Ridgeview Rd, Olathe, KS 66061, with burial to follow at Johnson County Memorial Gardens, 11200 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS 66210. Memorial gifts in honor of William Allen may be given to Grace United Methodist Church Youth Department or Johnson County Community College Foundation. William was born at his grandparents' Acord home near Union Star, MO, on August 8, 1918. He began his education at Union Star Grade School. The family eventually moved to St. Joseph, MO, where William graduated from Benton High School. He continued his education at St. Joseph Junior College. After graduating from St. Joseph Junior College he joined the Army National Guard in St. Joseph. His guard unit was activated and sent to Fort Lewis, Washington. William and 32 men in his unit were sent to the Philippines. Eight hours after Pearl Harbor was bombed, Clark Field in the Philippines was bombed. William received an injury and was later awarded the Purple Heart. After the bombing the Japanese pushed the American soldiers onto the Bataan Peninsula. The Americans surrendered to the Japanese on April 9, 1942, and thereafter began the 60-mile forced march, which later became known as the Bataan Death March. Many American soldiers were beaten to death, bayoneted, and all had very little food and water. After the Bataan Death March, the surviving prisoners were forced into prison camps where it was filthy and many contracted Malaria. No medicine was available. William was on work details away from the camp. Later he was sent to Japan and forced into the baggage hold of a Japanese cargo ship, sitting on a coal pile with 600 other POWs. They were told they were to go to Japan in five days, but they were in the hold of that ship for 30 days. Many American soldiers died daily and their bodies were thrown overboard into the China Sea. After arriving in Japan, William along with the other survivors were shipped in cattle railroad cars to northern Japan to work in the copper mines. He worked there until the war ceased. Soon American planes dropped food and clothing to the POWs. William got more food than he could use, so he wrapped canned fish, chocolate bars, etc. into his Army towel #31, which he had kept. While marching out from the copper mines, he gave this bundle of extra food supplies to his Japanese civilian boss. He knew the Japanese were also hungry. William continued corresponding with the Japanese civilian boss and his family. Thirty-three years later, William and Maxine returned to Japan for an International Rotary Convention. The family of his Japanese boss greeted them at the airport, and they presented William with his Army G.I. towel #31, which they had kept all of those years. After three and a half years as a POW of the Japanese, William was liberated and sent to Schick General Army Hospital in Clinton, Iowa. There he met Maxine Bednar who was working with the Red Cross. They were soon married November 3, 1946, at Maxine's home church in Manly, Iowa. The newlyweds moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, where William served as an Administrative Specialist for the Air National Guard for five years. William received an honorable discharge from the military. William and Maxine and their two daughters, Linda Kay and Brenda Fay moved to Lawrence, Kansas, in 1951 where William attended Law School at the University of Kansas. After passing the bar the family moved to Olathe, Kansas where William practiced law and was elected as a Magistrate Judge from 1956-1968. William was always very active in many organizations for the community and veterans' organizations. He was a member of the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as the American and Johnson County Law and Bar Associations. William was also a member of Johnson County Community College Foundation and the Christian Gathering class at Grace United Methodist Church for 53 years in Olathe. He received the Paul Harris honor from the Lenexa Rotary Club. William leaves his wife of 64 years Maxine Allen, two daughters Linda Nelson and Brenda Eicher and their families. Share a memory, sign an online guestbook, or express your condolences at www.overlandparkchapel.com. D
Published in Kansas City Star on June 19, 2011



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  • Created by: Silver Spark
  • Added: 19 Jun 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 71598917
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/71598917/william-sherman-allen : accessed ), memorial page for William Sherman Allen (8 Aug 1918–16 Jun 2011), Find a Grave Memorial ID 71598917, citing Johnson County Chapel and Memorial Gardens, Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Silver Spark (contributor 46915372) .