Allen, Terry de la Mesa Sr, “Terrible Terry”, born 01-04-1888 in Fort Douglas, Utah, was a World War I veteran, In June of 1918, 14 months after the U.S. entered World War I, Terry Allen was a captain, a passionate and accomplished poloist, a drinker and bachelor of considerable renown , a cavalryman without a war where horses were required. In that month he went to France, where he soon got his first infantry command. At a school for infantry officers in France, Allen arrived the day before a class was to graduate. He lined up with that class. Said the commandant, passing out certificates “I don’t remember you in this class.” “I’m Allen—why don’t you?” Allen brazenly replied. He got his certificate, and as a temporary major he led a battalion of the 90th Infantry Division into battle at St. Mihiel and Aincreville, won a citation and a Silver Star “for distinguished and exceptional gallantry” got a bullet through the jaw and mouth.(His friends noticed soon afterward that be had lost his stutter, and surmised that the facial wound had cured him.). Casualties of the 90 Division during WWI: Total-7,549 (KIA-1,091; WIA-6,458). His acquaintances of that period still yarn about his Paris operations, remember more about his escapades than about his combat achievements. After the Armistice, Allen served with the Army of occupation. One night, at a party in occupied Germany, Allen arrived late and paired off, without introductions, with a charming British officer. They slapped each other’s backs, swapped drinks and stories until the shank of morning. Next day someone asked Allen whether he knew who the Briton was. “No, who?” said Allen. “The Prince of Wales,” was the reply. “Oh, my God,” said Allen. Later, the Prince invited Allen to another party. Allen announced that he had disgraced himself sufficiently and he was not going. The Prince insisted. Allen went to the party; again had a satisfactory evening. But Allen’s brother officers remember other qualities. In the same period, Allen once said “I wish the war hadn’t stopped when it did. It’s a damn shame—I was just beginning to get good ideas about commanding infantry battalions. I wish I could go back to the front and try them out.” Instead, in 1920, he returned to the U.S., twenty-one years of more or less peaceful Army life and the kind of luck which so often favors the bold.
After the war Allen returned to the cavalry. and many cavalrymen, sensing the end of their service, went into the embryo tank service. Terry Allen did neither. He made merry at Fort Bliss, Fort Riley, and Fort McIntosh. He endured two years at Fort Leavenworth’s Command & General Staff School, an all but indispensable preliminary to senior rank. In his class of 241 members, he finished 221st. General (then Major) Dwight Eisenhower finished first.
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 here with Omar Bradley
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.