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First Name: Roderick

Last Name: Allen

Birthplace: Marshall, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Random

Date of Birth: 29 January 1894

Date of Death: 01 February 1970

Rank: Major General

Years Served:
Roderick Random Allen

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Roderick Random Allen
Major General, U.S. Army

Roderick Random Allen was born on 29 January 1894 in Marshall, TX, the son of Jefferson Buffington and Emma Albers Allen. He spent his youth in Palestine, TX, and graduated from Texas A&M in 1915 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture.

Allen was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, Sixteenth Cavalry, Regular Army, on 29 November 1916. He was promoted to First Lieutenant a short time later and stationed at Mercedes, TX, on the Mexican border. He was transferred to the Third Cavalry in June 1917, promoted to Captain in October, and served with the Regiment in France in the American Expeditionary Force. His troop and squadron were on remount duty at six locations. From November 1917 to January 1918, Allen was an aerial observer, First Observation Squadron, Aviation Section, Signal Corps, in World War I. 

During the spring of 1919, he attended the University of Toulouse in France and in July he returned with the Third Cavalry to Fort Ethan Allen, VT. In 1919-21 and 1923, he rode 300-mile endurance tests in the U.S. Mounted Service. In 1920 Allen was an instructor, Texas National Guard, Dallas. In February 1921 he transferred to the Sixteenth Cavalry, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, and in October he moved to the Fourth U.S. Cavalry. From 1921-23 he was a member of the Cavalry Engineer Rifle Team.

Beginning in the 1920s, Allen graduated from several advanced military schools. He attended the Cavalry School and was assigned (1923) to Command Company A, Seventh Cavalry, Fort Bliss, and served as Regimental Adjutant. He graduated from the Command and General Staff School (1928), was promoted to Major on 20 June, and was ordered to the Personnel Section (of which he became Chief in 1930), Office of Chief of Cavalry, in Washington, DC.

In 1929 he was Captain of the Cavalry Rifle and Pistol Team. He was an instructor at the Command and General Staff School (1932-34). He graduated from the Chemical Warfare School (1934), the Army War College (1935), and the Naval War College (1936). Allen was a staff officer, Plans and Training Division, War Department, from 1936-40. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 1 August 1938.

World War II

During World War II, he commanded various armored units. In July 1940 he was Operations Officer, First Armored Regiment, Fort Knox, KY. In April he was transferred to the Third Armored Division, Camp Beauregard, LA. He was promoted to Colonel, AUS, on 14 October 1941, and took command of the Thirty-second Armored Regiment. Allen became Chief of Staff, Sixth Armored Division, in January 1942 and was promoted to Brigadier General, AUS, on 23 May. He commanded Combat Command A, Fourth Armored, and participated in maneuvers in Tennessee (1942) and California (1942-43).

From October 1943 to September 1944 he commanded the Twentieth Armored Division at Camp Campbell, KY. He was promoted to Major General, AUS, on 23 February 1944. He Commanded Twelfth Armored Division in Europe from September 1944 to August 1945. The Division was attached to the U.S. Seventh Army (in France), detached to the First French Army, then to the Third Army to spearhead the Twentieth Corps drive from Trier to the Rhine. His Division accompanied the Twenty-First Corps into Austria.


From August 1945 to February 1946 he Commanded First Armored in Germany, then was Director of Operations, Plans, and Training at European Theater Headquarters. He was promoted to Colonel, Regular Army, on 1 November 1945, and to Brigadier General on 24 January 1948.

In the U.S., he served from October 1947 to April 1948 as Director of Intelligence, Army Ground Forces, Fort Monroe, VA. He was promoted to Major General on 27 May 1949. He commanded Third Armored at Fort Knox from 1948-50.

Korean War

In July 1950, at the outbreak of the Korean War, he reported to Douglas MacArthur's headquarters, Far East Command, Tokyo, Japan. He was designated Deputy Chief of Staff, Far East Command, Deputy Chief of Staff, United Nations Command, and Chief of Staff, Korean Operations. From April 1951 to February 1952, Allen commanded the Sixteenth Corps, headquartered at Sendai, Japan. After being reassigned to the U.S., he commanded the Ninth Infantry Division at Fort Dix from February-July 1952. At Fort Dix, Allen briefly made national news when a House subcommittee on appropriations criticized his expenditures for kennels and dog runs for his fancy dogs (Samoyeds).

His last assignment was as Commanding General, New England Sub-Area, Boston Army Base, Fort Devens, MA.

He retired from the Army on 31 May 1954, and resided in Washington, DC, until his death.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Army Command Ribbon
Distinguished Marksman Award
Officer Legion of Honor Award
Croix de Guerre with Palm (France)
Order of the White Lion and Victory War Cross (Czechoslovakia)


In 1946 A&M granted him an honorary LL.D. degree.


On 25 April 1917, he married Maydelle Campbell. The couple had two children, Nancy Campbell Allen and Gail Random Allen.

Death and Burial

Major General Roderick Random Allen died on 1 February 1970. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 2056   Created by: MHOH




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