Military Service:
Like Father, Like Son

 

Edward Junior’s readiness to serve his country was described by the Corvallis Gazette-Times, (August 14, 1942) as follows: “Called on Duty --- Lieutenant Edward A. Allworth, son of Major and Mrs. E.C. Allworth, who received his R.O.T.C. commission at the close of Oregon State college in the late spring, left Corvallis Thursday afternoon for Fort Knox, Kentucky, to answer a call into active service.… Lieutenant Allworth is a Corvallis boy and has attended grade and high schools here and Oregon State. He was in his senior year at the college." [4]

 

At the age of 21 and just shy of graduating from college, young Edward Allworth was off to military camp in preparation for the war front. Initially, the 6-foot-tall standing Allworth was supposed to be in a tank battalion, but because of his claustrophobia, he decided to be a paratrooper, not restricted or confined but free as a bird. By the following summer of 1943, he was training with a paratrooper detachment at Camp Mackall, NC and eventually earned his parachutist wings with the 101st Airborne division, who were among the first to see combat action when D-Day began on June 6, 1944. 

 

Only a month into the war, Allworth sent a cable back home informing his family that “he had been in combat in the invasion area for eleven days. He was tired, as were others, with the constant day and night action, but was well and in good spirits." [5] What was not mentioned in that cable was that the paratrooper Allworth had an interesting encounter with a POW that left a lasting impression on the future scholar. According to Peter Sinnott, a former student, “Professor Allworth met an Asian Prisoner of War in a German uniform a few days after he had jumped into France. According to his wife Janet, he was intrigued and learned that he was a Bashkir who had been in the Red Army and surrendered. He had agreed to help the Wehrmacht and became a hilfe willige (a willing helper).” [6] It must have been surreal for a young American soldier to meet a Bashkir Tatar POW, far away from his home in the Ural mountains, in the battlefields of France. 

As D-Day marked a turning point in the war against the Germans, Edward Jr. performed a heroic deed on the French battlefield by organizing the evacuation of his fellow soldiers despite being wounded. Like father, like son, Edward Jr. proudly served his country and was also awarded the bronze star for his act of courage. [7] With victory in hand, it was now time for Allworth Jr. to return home. 

© 2021 by Alpago Kursat