Presbyterian College mourns the loss of retired Major General James Burroughs Allen, Jr. ’55
Retired Major General James Burroughs Allen, Jr., age 83, passed away Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at Lexington Medical Center.
“General Allen was passionate about our country and PC,” said Bob Staton, president of Presbyterian College. “His commitment to PC and our ROTC program, especially at critical moments in its history, had and continue to have, an influence on the College. On a more personal note, I considered General Allen a friend who would always share his thoughts, all of which were founded on his great love for PC, in a passionate and candid way, which was greatly appreciated.”
“Our College, our Army, and our nation mourn the loss of a terrific leader, Major General James Allen,” said retired Brigadier General, Rick Porter ’77. “He was well known throughout the Army as a superb general officer and a selfless soldier.”
“Known for his strong leadership, Major Allen had the uncanny ability to get things done that others could not. He was devoted and passionate in support of the PC ROTC program and played an instrumental role in its success. He epitomized PC’s motto of ‘while we live, we serve,’ and he leaves behind an enduring legacy that inspires others toward selfless service.”
Allen was born on May 18, 1933, in Conway. He was the son of the late James Burroughs Allen and Mae Revels Allen. He attended public schools in Conway and was an active participant in high school athletics. After graduating from high school in 1951, he was awarded a football scholarship to Presbyterian College. While at PC, he was a member of the ROTC, Scabbard and Blade, Block P Club, and Sigma Nu Fraternity. Allen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant (Infantry) in the United States Army.
In November 1959, while serving as the Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General at Fort Jackson, S.C., he met Jo Lynn Huffman, a student at the University of South Carolina. Following her graduation, they were married on June 3, 1961.
A combat veteran serving two tours in South Vietnam, he held a wide variety of important command and staff positions culminating in his assignment as Deputy Commanding General VII (US) Corps and Community Commander Greater Stuttgart Military Community. Other key assignments include Service on the International Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe; Pacific Area Operations Officer, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of Army Training, The Army Staff, Logistical Plans and Operations Officer, First Field Forces South Vietnam; Commander, Special Troops, Eighth United States Army, Korea; Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Training Center & Fort Jackson and Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division.
His awards and decorations include: the Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Bronze Star Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), five Air Medals, the Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Combat Infantryman Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge, and the Army General Staff Identification Badge. His foreign awards include: the Federal Republic of Germany Ehren Kreuz der Bundeswehr in Gold (Honor Cross in Gold), the highest German Army peacetime award; the Federal Republic of Germany Meritorious Service Medal with Star; the South Vietnamese Medal of Honor, 1st Class, South Vietnam; and the Philippine Army Parachutist Badge.
Allen received the Gold P from Presbyterian College in 1989 and was inducted into the Presbyterian College ROTC Hall of Fame in 1993.
Allen was an avid sports fan who enjoyed playing golf, attending and watching sporting events and spending quality time with his family. Above all, he loved his country and his family. He was also a long-time member of Shandon United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his wife of over 55 years, Jo Lynn Huffman Allen; their three sons, James Burroughs Allen III (Shelley) of Columbia, Joseph Thomas Allen (Angela) of Columbia, and Jeffrey Lynn Allen (Jackie) of Elgin; three grandchildren, Jamison Anna, Jefferson Jared and James Burroughs IV; brothers Dr. Ed Allen, Lt. Col. (Retired) Jon Allen (Shirlee) and sister Jo Ann Hall; and a special cousin Herby Allen. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Jim was predeceased by a brother and sister-in-law, Carey and Franklyn Huffman; a sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Leslie Patterson; and a brother-in-law, Frank Hall.
The family will receive friends Monday, May 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street. Services will be held on Tuesday, May 2 at 12:30 p.m. at Shandon United Methodist Church, with burial to follow at Fort Jackson National Cemetery at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Army Emergency Relief or a charity of your choice.
Presbyterian College is located on a striking 240-acre campus in Clinton, between Columbia and Greenville, S.C. Offering challenging academics and a culture of honor, ethics, and service that prepares students to be leaders in communities, PC offers its students the benefit of engaging with an exceptional faculty who take individual interest in their students’ well-being, both personally and in the classroom. The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy is dedicated to the ideals of leadership, honor to the profession, and service to the community. For more information about Presbyterian College, visit www.presby.edu.