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"People look at me and thought, This guy can do it." (Audio interview, 30:17)

   James W. Allen
Collection image
James Allen saluting the colors at his retirement ceremony [September 1980]
War: Korean War, 1950-1953; Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army; Army
Unit: 7th Infantry Division; Saigon Area Drug Rehabilitation Service
Service Location: United States; Korea; Germany; Vietnam; also: Vietnam
Rank: First Sergeant; First Sergeant
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For James Allen, joining the Army was a means of escape from life in racially segregated Florida in the 1950s. He served in various administrative capacities in Korea and Vietnam during the wars fought there, always ready to take on a new challenge, even if he wasn't specifically trained for the job assignment. After retiring from the Army, he wound up back in Florida, where he has immersed himself in community and veterans programs in booming Flagler County, ready as ever to make the most of his talents.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (87 min.)
»Photo Album  (10 photos)
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»AAHM: Next Generation
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Barely making the grade at leadership school; a lifetime of segregation had led him to think "whites should go first." (01:33) Reduced in rank when a CO caught a man asleep on guard duty while Allen was in charge. (03:29) Different facilities and social clubs for black and white soldiers, despite orders to integrate the military. (00:53)
Awarded the Bronze Star for his work at the Saigon Area Drug Rehabilitation Service. (03:42)  

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  October 26, 2011
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