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Adapted from "Captain Burrell Clinton Allen, Jr, United States Navy" [biography, dated 8 May 1957] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

Document Type
  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
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Location of Archival Materials

Burrell Clinton Allen, Jr.

28 January 1909 - 5 April 1995

PDF Version [2.5MB]

Born in Annapolis, Maryland on 28 January 1909, Captain Allen is the son of Rear Admiral (retired) and Mrs. B. C. Allen of La Jolla, California. He was a graduate of Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut; the Naval Academy and Postgraduate School, Annapolis; and the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia. He had served as an Instructor at the Armed Forces Staff College and the Naval Training Station, San Diego, California, and as Officer in Charge of the Naval Section, Marine Schools, Quantico, Virginia.

Early in his career he had gunnery duties in the battleships New Mexico and Maryland, served as Gunnery Officer of the destroyers Long and Noa, and served as Communications Officer of the destroyer tender Dobbin and on the staff of Commander Battleship Division ONE. After shore duty as Captain of the Yard and District Communication Officer at the Naval Station, Guam, Mariana Islands, he served from May 1940 until September 1941 as Assistant First Lieutenant and Damage Control Officer of the cruiser Honolulu.

At the outbreak of World War II, he was Engineering and Gunnery Officer of the gunboat Charleston, which participated in operations in the Aleutians in 1942. In 1943 he served as Gunnery Officer on the staff of Commander SEVENTH Amphibious Force, in the Southwest Pacific, and in command of LCT Flotilla 7, took part in operations in New Guinea and New Britain, He later commanded LCT Flotillas of the SEVENTH Amphibious Force, and was Task Group Commander for operations in New Guinea and Landing Craft Control Officer at Cape Cretin and Hollandia. For outstanding services he was awarded the Legion of Merit Bronze Star Medal and Letter of Commendation, each with Combat "V."

On his return to the United States in April 1945, he was assigned to the Logistics Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, and in July 1947 assumed command of USS Washburn, an attack cargo ship. After a year in that command and almost three years at the Armed Forces Staff College, he commanded USS Latimer (APA-152) assigned to the SIXTH Fleet in the Mediterranean, and later to Northern Operations.

From July 1954 until May 1956 Captain Allen was Chief of Staff to Commander Amphibious Group 3, serving in the Eastern and Western Pacific and participating in the DEW Line Operation in the Arctic. Since June 1956 he had been Commanding Officer of the Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, California.


Born: Annapolis, Maryland, 28 January 1909
Died: 5 April 1995
Parents: Rear Admiral Burrell C. Allen, USN, Ret., and Mrs. (Selma Emily Mertz) Allen
Education: Brunswick School, Greenwich, Connecticut; US Naval Academy (BS, 1930); Naval Postgraduate School (General Line); Armed Forces Staff College

Promotions :
Commissioned Ensign, 5 June 1930
Lieutenant (jg ), 5 June 1933
Lieutenant, 1937
Lieutenant Commander, 1942
Commander, 1943
Captain, to date from 1 September 1948

Decorations and Medals:
Legion of Merit, with Combat "V"
Bronze Star Medal, with Combat "V"
Commendation Ribbon, with Combat "V" and Pendant
American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, with 3 stars
World War II Victory Medal
Navy Occupation Service Medal, Europe Clasp
National Defense Service Medal


Legion of Merit: "For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding Commanding Officer of a Task Group of Landing Craft Tanks engaged in supplying our forces during offensive operations against enemy Japanese occupied Lae and. Finaschhafen, New Guinea, and Arawe and Cape Gloucester, New Britain, from 4 September to 26 December 1943...(He)coordinated his task groups with daring and effective tactical skill toward the prompt completion of each assigned mission. (His) outstanding professional ability, sound judgment and untiring devotion to duty contributed materially to successful operations..."

Bronze Star Medal: "For heroic service as Commander of Task Group SEVENTY-SIX POINT FIVE in Morobe, New Guinea, on 12 September 1943. When hostile aircraft launched a surprise dive-bombing and strafing run over our forces in the Harbor and threatened to delay the departure of an echelon, (he)...embarked in a small boat and proceeded across the harbor... Assuming temporary command of the echelon, he...directed the forming and departure of the group composed of small escorts and LCT's loaded with artillery, ammunition and rations urgently needed by Allied Troops in combat in the Lae-Salamaua Areas..."


July 1930 August 1930 USS New Mexico (Gunnery duties)
September 1930 April 1931 Staff, Commander Battleship Division ONE (Communications)
May 1931 June 1932 USS Maryland (Gunnery)
June 1932 April 1933 USS Long (Gunnery Officer)
May 1933 June 1934 USS NOA (Gunnery Officer)
June 1934 June 1936 USS Dobbin (Communications Officer)
July 1936 June 1937 Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Maryland (instruction)
July 1937 February 1938 Naval Training Station, San Diego, California (instructor)
March 1938 April 1940 Naval Station, Guam, M.I. (Captain of the Yard and District Communication Officer)
May 1940 September 1941 USS Honolulu (Asst. First Lieutenant and Damage Control Officer)
October 1941 December 1942 USS Charleston (Engineering and Gunnery Officer)
January 1943 August 1943 Staff, Commander SEVENTH Amphibious Force, (Gunnery Officer)
August 1943 January 1944 Commander LCT Flotilla 7 (commanding Officer; Task Group Commander for operations in New Guinea and New Britain
January 1944 March 1945 Commander LCT Flotillas, SEVENTH Amphibious Force (Task Group Commander for operations in New Guinea; Landing Craft Control Officer at Cape Cretin and Hollandia)
April 1945 July 1947 Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics Division)
August 1947 September 1958 USS Washburn (CO)
October 1948 June 1951 Armed Forces Staff College (instructor, Plans and Operations Division)
July 1951 September 1952 USS Latimer (CO) (SIXTH Fleet for Northern Operations)
September 1952 June 1954 Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, Officer in Charge, Naval Section
Jul 1954 May 1956 Commander Amphibious Group 3 (Chief of Staff) (Service in Arctic with DEW Line Operation)
Jun 1956   Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, California (CO)


Published: Wed Apr 10 10:38:59 EDT 2019