Naval Historical Center
805 Kidder Breese Street SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5060
John G. Allen was born in Ithaca, New York on 17 May 1889. He enlisted in the Navy on 7 December 1906, and attended training at Newport Naval Training Station. Allen, a Boatswain's Mate, spent much of his Navy career on board battleships, serving on Idaho, New Hampshire, Maryland, and West Virginia. He also had duty on USS Constellation, Prairie, Lancaster, Hancock, Hannibal, and Pueblo. During World War I, Allen served in the North Sea on the battleship Florida. Allen reached the rate of Boatswain's Mate First Class, receiving his permanent appointment to that rate on 11 January 1926. He was transferred from active duty to the Fleet Naval Reserve on 18 February 1928.
In 1942, Allen sought a return to active duty for service in World War II. Supported by Captain S.P. Jenkins, under whom he had served on Florida, he was returned to duty as a Chief Boatswain in 1943 and assigned as Boatswain of the Section Base at San Pedro, California. One year later, Allen filed a request to remain on active duty for the duration of the war. Ultimately, his request was denied, but he did remain on active duty until only a few months before the war ended. In April 1945 he received notification that he would be detached from active duty on or about 1 June 1945, and was officially relieved from active duty on 31 May 1945.
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains papers of BM1 John Allen and documents collected by him during his Navy career. Though the collection spans the years 1899 through the 1970s, most of the material comes from World War I and World War II. Four series are present in the collection.
Series I, Correspondence, 1914-1945, contains official correspondence regarding duty assignments, separation from active duty, and reports on two fires that Allen witnessed while serving at San Pedro. This series is arranged chronologically.
Series II contains published material. Arranged alphabetically by title, most of the items in this series cover topics related to World War I and World War II.
In Series III are printed photographs from World War I. There are two groups of photographs in this series, one of people and ships from the American Battle Squadron and the British Grand Fleet. The other, Panthéon de la Guerre, is a French series depicting monuments to various countries that participated in the war and several individuals or groups of people.
Finally, Series IV, Miscellaneous Documents, contains biographical information on British Admiral Sir David Beatty, Thomas Moran, Myrtle Stewart, and William Taylor. Also in this series are four certificates relating to John Allen's Naval service, the formation of German and Allied vessels at the surrender of the German Navy in November 1918, several newspaper clippings, posters for the 3rd and 4th Liberty Loans, and a panoramic postcard showing the Great White Fleet. This series is arranged alphabetically.
This collection should be cited as Papers of Boatswain's Mate John G. Allen, USN, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C.
Subject Headings (LCSH)
United States. Navy--History.
World War, 1914-1918.
World War, 1939-1945.
Great Britain--History, Naval--20th century.
0.25 cubic feet
11 December 2001