E-News – December 2016

Trooper Down

Lee Allen. Lee Allen, who in his own words "by the grace of God and the sacrifice of his countrymen," lived most of his life as a free man. He died on January 18, 2016 in Provo, Utah.

Lee was born in Manila, Philippines on October 24, 1938 to Henderson Wilcox Allen, an Army officer, and Beulah Ream Allen, a physician. After the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in WWII, Lee’s father survived the brutal Bataan Death March and later died in the Cabanatuan prisoner-of-war camp. Lee spent the duration of WWII in prison camps with his mother and younger brother Hendy, who was born by C-section in a prison camp on the 4th of July at his mother’s insistence. Lee, his mother, and brother survived the war.

Lee was raised in California. He graduated from Palo Alto High School as the elected Student Body President. Lee earned a congressional appointment to West Point and graduated in 1960. As the yearbook editor, he had the honor to present it to President Eisenhower. He completed the two-year graduate program in geography from the University of Illinois in just one year.

He had a successful 20-year military career as a combat arms officer serving around the world, including two tours in Vietnam-one with the 11th ACR and also as a leader of the first group of Americans connected to the UN contingency guarding peace in Golan Heights in Syria. His assignments varied greatly, including teaching at West Point, commanding 2nd Squadron, 11th ACR in Germany (1974- 1975) on the East German border, and developing training programs for the Army. He declined promotion to Colonel and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1980.

After retirement, Lee dedicated his life to serving his country in many other ways. He was an advocate for better education and was a founding member of the Meridian School in Provo. As a regional speaker for Accuracy in Media, he had an opportunity to travel to the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. Lee was also the editor and publisher of the "Free Citizen," a newspaper circulated throughout Utah to inform and protect the rights of Utah citizens regarding taxation among other issues. He carried a large correspondence and was a behind-the- scenes contributor to several best-selling authors. Lee’s business interests were in engine imports from China, editing and publishing military history books, and managing industrial property.

Lee married Silja Viinikka (from Finland) in the Swiss Temple in 1971. It was a whirlwind romance and Lee won Silja over with his interesting letters. Lee and Silja raised 5 children, and after retirement they moved to Provo and have lived there for the past 35 years.

It was an honor for Lee to serve in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in many capacities including in the bishopric and high council. His greatest contribution and love was for his close and extended family. His wisdom and strength will be sorely missed.

He is survived by his sister Shirley Williamson; his wife Silja; daughter Preot (Derek) Oaks; son Sam (Jennifer) Allen; daughters Anna (Paul) King and Lisa Allen; and 14 grandchildren.

From Clint Ancker: I had the pleasure to serve as a Squadron Border Officer and Troop Commander under LTC Lee Allen during his command of 2/11 ACR. I have never served with a finer officer. He cared greatly for two things while in command: getting ready to fight the next war and taking care of soldiers. Under his command, we created the best squadron I ever served with, and he developed his subordinate leaders through his personal example. Five of his troop/company commanders became squadron/battalion commanders, two of whom further commanded either an ACR or BCT, and one of whom retired as a lieutenant general. He taught us true teamwork, humility, professionalism, and a sincere concern for soldiers and warfighting. Those of us who had the honor of serving under his command were forever changed by his example.


Blackhorse Wreath Laying Ceremony Arlington Cemetery February 2, 2017
From Evan M. FitzGerald

A wreath laying ceremony for the 11th ACR is scheduled to occur on the birthday of the Regiment, February 2, 2017 (Thursday) at 11:15 am, at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) in Virginia. Evan is coordinating a meal following the ceremony, and details will follow in upcoming E-News.

Evan received an email from ANC regarding increased security measures that will have been implemented prior to our conducting the ceremony. While he doesn’t think this will have a major impact on the event, it may require participants and attendants to arrive slightly earlier than in previous years. He’ll send additional information once the event gets closer.



The decoration of the walls of the new Blackhorse Classroom in Patton Hall at the Armor School at Fort Benning is nearly complete. But we need some photos of troopers in action from the brief time the Regiment served in Kuwait (summer of 1991). If you have any electronic photos (JPEG or similar) or if you know of someone who does, please contact Don Snedeker (blackhorse4@nullverizon.net) or Glenn Snodgrass (jgs525@nullverizon.net). Thanks for your help.

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