Allen, Terry de la Mesa Sr, “Terrible Terry”, born 01-04-1888 in Fort Douglas, Utah, was a World War I veteran, who during World War II was the Commanding General of the in North Africa and Sicily and later the commander of the 104th Infantry Regiment. Allen participated in the Operation Torch, the invasion of Sicily and took part in Operation Husky. Allen and his second in command Brigadier General Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt Jr., son of former U.S. President Theodore Delano Roosevelt, distinguished themselves as combat leaders. Theodor Roosevelt Jr. died after a heart attack on the Normandy beaches during Operation Oerlord and is buried on the American Cemetery of Vierville in France.
Allen, Terry de la Mesa Sr, “Terrible Terry”Back to all people
Another associate under his command, was Chief of Staff, Norman Cota who would play an important military role in the Invasion of Normandy, as he ordered the stocked men to go on. Cota died in 1971, at the age of 78 and is buried on the West Point Cemetery. After battles with the 104th Division, nickname “Timberwolf Division” or “Nightfighters” , in Holland (see About) and the battle of the Bulge Anthony McAuliffe, he advanced throught the Siegfried Line and across the Inde River into Cologne. The 104th Division returned to the United States on 03-07-1945. Upon return, it continued the process of demobilization until 20 December of that year, when it was inactivated. The division suffered 1.294 killed in action, 5.305 wounded in action, 385 missing in action, and 27 prisoners of war. The division suffered a further 6.396 non-battle casualties, for a total of 13.407 casualties. The division took 51.727 German prisoners during the war, most of whom surrendered following the armistice. During World War II, soldiers of the division were awarded two Medals of Honor, 14 Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, 642 Silver Star Medals, six Legion of Merit medals, 20 Soldier’s Medals, 2,797 Bronze Star Medals, and 40 Air Medals. The division received 9 Distinguished Unit Citations and three campaign streamers during 200 days of combat. .
His division helped to complete the encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket. During World War II, most U.S. black soldiers still served only as truck drivers and as stevedores (except for some separate tank, tank destroyer, and artillery battalions as well as in Army Air Force fighter units). In the midst of the Battle of the Bulge, General Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower was severely short of replacement troops for existing military units which were totally white in composition. Consequently, he made the decision to allow African American soldiers to pick up a weapon and join the white military units to fight in combat for the first time. More than 2.000 black soldiers had volunteered to go to the front. This was an important step toward a desegregated United States military. A total of 708 African Americans were killed in combat during World War II. The German Generalfeldmarschall, Walter Otto Model committed, defeated, suicide in the area. Finally the division was deactivated in June 1946 upon its return to the United States at the end of the war. His son was killed in the Vietnam War in October 1967, while commanding the 2nd Battalion, 28nd nIinfantry Regiment, the same unit his father commanded in World War II.
Two years later Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr., died of natural causes on 12-09-1969, in El Paso, Texas, at the old age of 81. He was buried, alongside his son, in the Fort Bliss National Cemetery with full military honors.