State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) today announced the Governor's approval of a road naming bill honoring the lives and legacies of two heroes from Ashland and Richland counties.

Substitute Senate Bill 182 requires the Ohio Department of Transportation to place signs along the designated roadways recognizing the sacrifices of Lieutenant Colonel Albert L. Allen, Jr. and Fireman First Class Irving Eugene Peters.

Lieutenant Colonel Albert L. Allen, Jr.

A survivor of the infamous Bataan Death March, Lieutenant Colonel Albert L. Allen, Jr. endured more than three years as a prisoner of war in the Philippines and Manchuria during World War II, before being liberated by the Russians in August 1945.

Upon his honorable discharge from active duty in 1946, Allen 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 World War II, Lieutenant Colonel Allen went on to earn his Bachelors Degree from Wooster College in 1948. He was 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. Allen passed away in 2004.

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

"Lieutenant Colonel Allen demonstrated incredible courage during his time in the military,” said Obhof. “When he returned, he continued to show leadership and character through his work in the Richland County community.”

A portion of I-71 in Richland County will be renamed the "Lieutenant Colonel Albert L. Allen, Jr. Memorial Highway" in his honor.

In 2015, Representative Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) and Senator Obhof each introduced legislation to name this portion of I-71 after Lieutenant Colonel Allen. That legislation was later added to Senate Bill 182, which was signed by Governor Kasich on Friday.

Fireman First Class Irving Eugene Peters

Fireman First Class Irving Eugene Peters served in the United States Navy during World War II and was held as a Prisoner of War by the Japanese following the attack on Pearl Harbor, from 1942 until 1945.

Under Senate Bill 182, the portion of State Route 39 between the municipal corporations of Perrysville and Loudonville within Ashland County will be designated as the “Fireman First Class Irving Eugene Peters Memorial Highway.”

"Fireman First Class Peters made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country," said Obhof. "This dedication serves to honor the life and legacy of Peters and other Americans who fought to protect the liberties we enjoy today."

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