Photo courtesy of Senator Roger Wicker’s Office
Earlier this week, Billups H. (Bill) Allen, a Mississippi native and World War II veteran, had a birthday celebration unlike any other.
During a surprise ceremony on Monday at The Blake, an assisted living facility in Ridgeland, Allen celebrated his 100th birthday and received the Bronze Star Medal – the service’s fourth-highest award.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Martian of the Mississippi Army National Guard presented the Bronze Star to Mr. Allen. Lt. Col. Martian also gave Allen the Army of Occupation medal and a replacement medal for Allen’s Purple Heart award, which was lost in December 1945 when he was evacuated from a hospital in England during the Battle of the Bulge. Allen was an infantry platoon leader (lieutenant) with the 29th Division in Europe.
Allen’s family released a statement announcing the award and thanking those who helped make this happen.
“The family would like to extend their appreciation to [U.S. Senator Roger] Wicker, the Mississippi Army National Guard, and the staff of The Blake [assisted living facility] for making the celebration and presentation possible.”
Senator Wicker assisted the family with the application for the medal, which was awarded to Mr. Allen just days after the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.
“Bill Allen is an American hero who distinguished himself in service during World War II. I was happy to help his family get him the recognition he deserves,” Wicker said.
Attendance was limited to family members and facility staff because of COVID-19 restrictions.