Allard, Robert V, Sgt

MIA/POW
 
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Last Rank
Sergeant
Last Primary MOS
0311-Rifleman
Last MOSGroup
Infantry
Primary Unit
1942-Present, 0311, Missing In Action
Service Years
1937 - 1942

Sergeant

 
One Hash Mark

 

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 Personal Details 

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State of Birth
New York
New York
Year of Birth
Not Specified
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Ryan Mahana (Alcatraz) to remember Marine Sgt Robert V Allard.

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World War II Fallen
  1942, World War II Fallen


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The Raiders had the pick of the Marines's finest enlisted men. Carlson and Edson sought fearless volunteers. "They basically told you that your chances of coming back home were very slim," says Normal veteran Berg, a former Peorian who left Woodruff High School his junior year to enlist in the Marines. He would join the Second Battalion in 1943. "I was a young 17-year-old. All I wanted to do was fight the Japanese." The Raiders' first mission called for a one-two punch. The First Battalion would take a slow route to Guadalcanal to roust the Japanese. Meanwhile, to divert potential enemy reinforcements, the Second would blast onto Makin to preoccupy Japanese forces to the north. The Second Battalion would make the first move. On Aug. 17, 1942, its 222 Raiders silently edged up to Makin, launching the Marine's first-ever submarine raid. The Raiders slid ashore on 10-man rubber rafts. Confusion reigned at first, as volatile surf and conflicting orders had units scrambling to find their proper attack points. With bugle calls, the Japanese responded in full force. A melee of a firefight broke out, while Japanese airplanes strafed the Raiders' position. The battle raged through the night and into the next morning. "It was an awful mess," says Ben Carson, a Minnesota native and one of the 222 Raiders. Shock seized the troops. Surrender? By their own count, they'd suffered few casualties. "We knew there were few Japs left," Carson said. "We were astounded. What the Sam Hill was going on?" So Carson and others kept firing. One bullet felled the Japanese solider toting the surrender note. His superiors never got it. After awhile, gunfire died down. Eventually, the Raiders crawled out of their foxholes to recon the enemy. They couldn't find any. They'd taken the island. Lt. Col. Carlson decided to move out the battalion in anticipation of conventional forces securing the desolate atoll. Carlson surveyed the fallen bodies, 89 Japanese to 19 Marines. He paid the village chief $50 to bury the Americans. Nine remained missing. Carlson figured they'd been shot dead in the surf and washed away. So, he ordered the sub hatch closed and they churned away from Makin. Seven days later, the sub would slide into Pearl Harbor to a hero's welcome. But Carlson had miscued. The missing nine hadn't died. Not yet. The First Battalion took Guadalcanal, where Carlson's Raiders later served valiantly. Afterward, Carlson and the Makin raid were lionized in the stateside-popular motion picture "Gung Ho!" After the Allies secured the Pacific, the Raiders' guerilla skills were deemed no longer necessary. In early 1944, they were folded into conventional Marine battalions. Carlson died in 1947, while counterpart Edson (who after Guadalcanal led further campaigns in the Pacific) died in 1955. The Raiders became a footnote, as did the buried and missing Marines on the Makin atoll. But surviving vets, through their Marine Raiders Association, kept pressure on the military for resolution. In 1999, a team of forensic anthropologists working for the U.S. Army found the grave on Makin (now part of Butaritari) of the 19 Raiders long ago buried by the village chief. Through DNA tests, they were identified. Six Raider families claimed and buried remains privately; the 13 others were interred at Arlington National Ceremony under a full-honors ceremony. That effort left nine Makin Raiders lost to the blurs of war and time. But that's changing. National Geographic has been working on a documentary, while Hollywood has planned a movie. "This thing is kind of a revelation to the world," says Ben Carson, now 80 and living in Oregon. Louis Zamperini first told his version of the story in 1943 to military-intelligence officers. Zamperini had attended the University of Southern California, where he became such a track star that he went to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. After Pearl Harbor, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. During a rescue mission in 1943, his B-24 malfunctioned and crashed into the Pacific. He and another crewman spent 47 days drifting in a life raft, barely surviving on a small cache of candy bars and other salvaged rations. They came ashore on Wotje Island in the Marshalls, where they were captured by the Japanese. Zamperini weighed 66 pounds. The pair was taken to another island, the Japanese base of Kwajalein, and shoved into separate cells measuring 30 inches wide, 6 feet wide and 6 feet high. Weak and constrained, Zamperini lay on the ground and stared at the wall. Six inches from his face, he spotted a crude yet riveting engraving, "9 Marines marooned on Makin Island - August 1942." Each of the nine was listed by name. Early in his confinement, Zamperini was visited by a native who followed the USC Trojans and knew of Zamperini's athletic feats. A shocked Zamperini asked about the nine Marines on the wall. "They were all killed by the decapitations with the samurai sword. That is what happens to all prisoners who come to Kwajelein," the native said, according to Zamperini, now 86 and back in his home town of Torrance, Calif. Zamperini would spend six weeks mulling those names. On his 42nd day, an emaciated Zamperini was taken from his cell, certain of the same death that had befallen the nine Marines. However, in a break with Japanese policy to kill all POWs on Kwajelein, the enemy took him to Japan. They figured his athletic stardom would carry weight in anti-American radio messages they forced him to record. Zamperini says he memorized the nine names. But starvation and beatings took their toll on his mind. By the time he was liberated at the end of the war, he had forgotten the names - but not the cell-wall inscription. Meanwhile, after the Allies took the Marshall Islands in 1944, other recollections of the nine Raiders began trickling in to American military intelligence. One Makin native said he'd seen the men negotiate a surrender with the Japanese. A Kwajalein villager said he'd witnessed one of the executions. After V-J Day, U.S. intelligence officers interrogated three Japanese officers on Kwajelein. They denied any knowledge of executions, but the truth came out in 1946 as the trio was tried before the Naval War Crimes Commission in Guam. The nine Raiders had been captured on Makin by the Japanese, who by their POW policy transported them to Kwajalein. The initial plan was to send them to Japan for incarceration. But, according to Vice Adm. Koso Abe, commander of all Marshall Island bases, Japanese Central Authorities told him: "From now on, it will not be necessary to transport prisoners to Japan. They will be disposed of locally (in Kwajalein)." Capt. Yoshio Obara, commander of Kwajelein, said he at first refused to execute the nine Raiders. But, he said, Abe threatened his life. The execution was set for mid-October as part of the Yasakuni Shrine Festival, a Japanese holiday honoring departed heroes. Obara ordered his military-police chief, Comdr. Hiusakichi Naiki, to carry out the executions. Naiki, who had befriended some of the prisoners, at first tried to persuade Obara otherwise. Obara would not relent. On Oct. 16, the prisoners were blindfolded, their hands tied behind their backs. They were taken to the southern edge of the island, where Abe and Obara arrived in full uniform. One at a time, each Raider was led to an open pit and ordered to kneel. Each was beheaded by sword and dumped into the hole. The War Crimes Commission found the trio guilty of "violation of the law and custom of war and the moral standards of civilized society." Abe was hanged; Obara and Naiki were sent to prison. This year, Bud Carson and Lou Zamperini were flown to Kwajalein by the U.S. Army, which leases the island from the Marshallese people and maintains a missile base there. Carson and Zamperini tried to help a team of archeologists and anthropologists find the grave of the nine Raiders. However, in 1944, the island was bombarded by Allied war planes, pockmarking it so severely that the Army bulldozed deeply into the earth to create a walkable terrain. All of that soil was shoved into the turbulent sea. Moreover, twice since the war, the Army Corps of Engineers has extended the size of Kwajalein to accommodate military needs, further disrupting the turf. The expedition proved fruitless. Not so much as a dog tag ever has been recovered. "The chances of finding these guys in one spot is slim," admits Zamperini. Yet America finally will honor them. By process of elimination, the Army has determined the identities of the nine Raiders, who will be remembered at a Nov. 11 ceremony in Kwajalein. All Raiders have been invited, but their ranks have dwindled. Only 22 will attend. Carson and Zamperini (though not a Raider) will be at the ceremony, as will Harold Berg, who served as one of Capt. Edson's Raiders in 1943. Still active as a Normal property appraiser at age 77, marksman Berg earned four service stars in the Pacific and now serves on the national board of the Marine Raider Association. He didn't know any of the nine executed Marines. But he considers them all brothers.

Members of the Marine Raiders, Second Battalion, executed on Kwajelein on Oct. 16, 1942:

Robert V. Allard, Sgt., USMCR, Company B, Navy Cross
Dallas H. Cook, Sgt., USMC, Company B, Navy Cross
Joseph Gifford, Cpl., USMC, Company B
Richard E. Davis, PFC, USMC Company A
Richard N. Olbert, PFC, USMCR Company B, Navy Cross
William E. Pallesen, PFC, USMC, Company B
John I. Kerns, Pvt, USMCR Company A, Navy Cross
Alden O. Mattison, Pvt., USMCR Company A
Donald R. Robertson, Pvt., USMC Company B, Navy Cross
   
Other Comments:
  Navy Cross
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Sergeant Robert V. Allard (MCSN: 262210), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for extraordinary heroism and conspicuous devotion to duty while serving as a member of a volunteer boat crew in Company B, SECOND Marine Raider Battalion, during the Marine Raider Expedition against the Japanese-held island of Makin in the Gilbert Islands on 17 and 18 August 1942. Fully aware of the hazards of an imminent enemy air attack, and with complete disregard for his own life, Sergeant Allard, with four others, volunteered to take a boat to a point just outside a reef and shoot a line ashore to assist in evacuating those men remaining on the beach. Caught on the sea, he was defeated in his valiant efforts by the violent strafing of his boat by withering enemy machine-gun fire. His great personal valor and loyal spirit of self-sacrifice were in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country.
Action Date: August 17 & 18, 1942
   
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Rifle Expert (Pre 1959)USMC Basic Qualification Badge

 
 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1937, Boot Camp (Parris Island, SC), A
 Unit Assignments
2nd Raider BnPrisoner of War
  1941-1942, 0311, 2nd Raider Bn
  1942-1942, 0311, Prisoner of War - Japan
  1942-Present, 0311, Missing In Action
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Pacific Specified Raids Campaign (1942)/Makin Island Raid
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