State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) has introduced legislation in the Ohio Senate to honor the legacy of Lieutenant Colonel Albert L. Allen, Jr., by designating a portion of I-71 in Richland County as the "Lieutenant Colonel Albert L. Allen, Jr. Memorial Highway."

"Lieutenant Colonel Allen demonstrated incredible courage and character both during his time in the service and through his work in the Richland County community," said Obhof. "I hope that this memorial serves as a reminder, for all Ohioans, of the sacrifices made to protect the freedoms we enjoy every day.” 

On January 29, 1941, Albert Allen, Jr. enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to Company C of the 192nd Tank Battalion, Fort Knox, Kentucky. His battalion was deployed to the Philippine Islands, arriving in November of 1941. 

Surviving the infamous Bataan Death March, Allen endured more than three years as a prisoner of war on various details in the Philippines and Mukden, Manchuria. He was liberated by the Russians in August of 1945.

Upon Allen's honorable discharge from active duty in 1946, he was awarded the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts, three Presidential Citations and numerous campaign medals. He continued to serve for 24 more years in the Army Reserves.  

A graduate of Mansfield Senior High School, after WWII Allen went on to earn his Bachelors Degree from Wooster College in 1948. 

Albert was inducted in the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in 1997 and in 2004 he was inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame. The Richland County Veterans Service Center has been renamed the Lt. Colonel Albert L. Allen Veterans Center in his honor.

During retirement, Allen remained active in the veteran community, serving as commander of his American Legion and VFW posts, chairing the Military Affairs Council of the Mansfield Area Chamber of Commerce, and in numerous other roles.

Lt. Col. Allen passed away on August 14, 2004. 

State Representative Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) has introduced similar legislation, House Bill 338, in the House of Representatives.

“I’m glad to join Representative Romanchuk in honoring such a dedicated public servant and hero,” said Obhof.

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