Frederick Ashton Allis was born in New York City on 21 January 1910, son of James A. and Elizabeth L. (Verreault) Allis. He received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Yale University in June 1932, and that month was commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve, having completed Naval Reserve Officers' Training at Yale. He was promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade) in June 1941, and subsequently attained the rank of Commander, USNR, to date from 5 November 1945. Transferring from the Naval Reserve to the Supply Corps of the US Navy in July 1946, he was promoted to the rank of Captain, SC, USN, to date from 1 July 1957.
After his graduation from Yale University in June 1932, he was employed by James Talcott Incorporated, in New York City, and from 1934 to 1941 was the Assistant Controller for that firm. During that period he studied law at Fordham University's Law School, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1939, when he was admitted to the New York Bar.
Reporting for active duty in the Naval Reserve in March 1941, he was serving as an officer in the Cadet Regiment at the Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, precipitating World War II, on 7 December that year. Detached in August 1942, he served from September through November of that year as First Division Officer and Boat Group Officer on board USS Tasker H. Bliss, a transport which participated in the Algeria-Morocco landings from 8 to 11 November, 1942.
He received a letter of Commendation from the Commander in Chief, US Atlantic Fleet, as follows: "The Commanding Officer of the USS TASKER H. BLISS, reporting on the torpedoing of that ship by an enemy submarine on November 12, 1942, stated that at the risk of your own life, you made continued efforts for almost an hour to rescue an enlisted man who was critically injured and trapped in #3 hold; that you remained until directly ordered by the Commanding Officer to leave the ship. The Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, commends you for outstanding performance of duty displayed on this occasion."
He was a student at the Naval War College (Reserve Staff course) from June to December 1944, and remained there as a member of the Staff until August 1946. Having transferred to the Supply Corps of the regular Navy, he reported in October of that year to the Navy Supply and Finance School, at Bayonne, New Jersey, where he was a student until March 1947. From April to December, that year, he served as Supply and Disbursing Officer of USS Saint Paul, and for five months thereafter was a student at the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia.
During the period June 1948 to May 1950 he was assigned to the Logistics Division of the Staff of the Commander Caribbean Sea Frontier, and for the next two years he was Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of the Yards and Docks Supply Office. From June 1952 to April 1954 he served as Executive Officer, Stockton Annex, of the Naval Supply Center, Oakland, California, after which he had a tour of duty on the Staff of the Naval Inspector General, Navy Department, Washington, DC.
Detached from the Office of the Naval Inspector General in September 1955, he served from October of that year until June 1957 on the Joint Staff of the Commander in Chief, Naval Forces, Europe, then reported for duty in the Office of Naval Material, Navy Department, Washington, DC. There he served as Head, Small Business Branch.
In addition to the Commendation Ribbon, Captain Allis had the Naval Reserve Medal (for ten years' service in the US Naval Reserve); the American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one operation star; the World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.
Captain Allis was a member of the Society of Colonial Wars and the Appalachian Mountain Club.