Sunday, May 26 at 11 am, friends, military veterans, and the public were invited to Trinity Episcopal Church in Pass Christian to dedicate a fire circle to the memory of 2nd Lieutenant Joe Ebert Allen, USMC. Allen served during the Vietnam conflict in the 1960s.
Lieutenant Joe Ebert Allen was an exceptional point of light for all his life. Allen spent most of his young life in Pass Christian attending local private and public schools where he excelled in sports and academics. He successfully attained the rank of Eagle Scout – an honor achieved by only 4% of the Boy Scouts of America.
As a member of Trinity Episcopal, Allen served as acolyte and crucifer before entering Tulane on a naval officer training scholarship.
While studying for his double major in English and Latin American studies, Allen received training in the Vietnamese language. An Honor graduate of the US Marine Officer training school in Quantico, VA, Joe took part in the defense of Saigon during the Vietnam War. He volunteered to be transferred to the battle zone.
On the day of his death, Lt. Allen and his platoon established a night ambush on a suspected enemy infiltration route, and after observing a large North Vietnamese Army force moving near his position in the perimeter zone near Quang Tre, he ordered his men to adjust mortar fire towards the enemy and reposition to a more advantageous position. Allen received several critical wounds but encouraged his men to move forward, shouting encouragement, and directing fire.
Following his burial in Long Beach, Mississippi, Joe Ebert Allen was awarded the Silver Star for “his bold leadership and resolute determination.” He was praised for his “unwavering devotion to duty and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.”
In 1969, friends of Lt. Allen honored him by gifting a tiered fountain in his memory to Trinity Episcopal Church. The fountain structure was destroyed in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina. Trinity’s Walking on Water Youth Group was active in the repairs and construction of the fire circle.
Veterans of all wars or peacetime and the public were invited to join the celebration of the life of Joe Ebert Allen and for all the men and women who served on behalf of the United States of America. Thank you to all for their dedication and sacrifice.