Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr., Hero of the World Wars

April 1, 1888 is the birthday of Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr., who fought in both World War I and World War II.  Mesa commanded the First Infantry Division in North Africa and Sicily.  Despite flunking out of West Point twice, Mesa rose to the rank of Major General.   Legendary for his unorthodox methods, he was warmly regarded by his soldiers, and kept his command post as close as possible to them in the field.  When one junior office complained that a proposed mission was suicide, “Terrible Terry” shot him in his ass, to relieve him of having to fight. (Yes, really.) The mission was a success, with minimal casualties.  Mesa was the grandson of Colonel Carlos Alvarez de la Mesa, a Union officer who fought in the Civil War.  De la Mesa tragically lost his own son in the Vietnam War.

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