Tribute to PFC Allison Ray Jackson
119th Infantry Regiment
PFC Jackson was KIA on November 7th, 1944 at Wurselen, Germany. I have scanned an aerial photo of the Wurselen area....Wurselen to the left of the photo. Markings are from middle October positions.
(Note: Because of markings on map, up is South)
Research on PFC Jackson provided by Billy Jackson:
PFC Allison Ray Jackson 34372332
119th Infantry Regiment
30th Infantry Division
PFC Jackson was born on December 30, 1921 to Allison and Annie Jackson of Palmyra, Tennessee. As far as can be determined, he never finished school and lived with his parents until the time he was inducted in the U.S. Army on July 19, 1942.
He received his initial training at Camp Blanding, Florida where he was placed in a Special Training Unit due to the fact he could not read or write.[i] After spending time in the STU, he was returned to his regular unit. From his letters, we know he participated in the 2nd Army’s Tennessee Maneuvers and spent some time at Camp Forrest, Tennessee near Tullahoma.[ii] [iii]From Tullahoma, it appears his regiment was sent north to Camp Atterbury, Indiana to prepare for deployment to England.[iv] Pvt. Emmett M. Kingston of Bedford County, Tennessee wrote Allison’s letters for him throughout his stay in the Army.. (Kingston later broke his leg and was shipped back to England in Sept. 44.[v])
The letters that survive do not give much of a picture of his life in the army. He seemed to be a typical GI in that he liked to drink and loved to play cards. V-Mails from England reveal nothing more than sporadic weather reports and updates on his success, or lack thereof, in the nightly card game.
While it is known that the 30th crossed the Channel and fought their way through France, there are no V-Mails available after that point. Based on the IDPF, we know that he was either WIA /DOW or KIA on either 6 or 7 November, 1944. Not much is known of the actions that he was taking part in at the time of his death.
At this time the Combat History of the 119 Reg. reports:
“For the first two weeks of November no serious action developed. We were still west of the highway in Würselen, receiving regular harassing barrages and replying in kind. Once in a while an enemy tank would drive up and fire a few rounds into our lines and then withdraw. There was some patrolling activity. The weather was dismal and the ground a mire. The Third Battalion spent a few days in a monastery outside Kerkrade, Holland, which had been converted into a rest camp. The Second Battalion was attached to the Second Armored and pursued training in the coordination of infantry and armor near Neerbeek, Holland. The First Battalion stayed at the frontline near Würselen.” [vi]
What happened really on the 6 and 7 November 1944?
The German Army reports: 6 Nov. 09.40 3 Pz. Gren. Div. (a German army unit)
“In the early morning a reconnoitring squad of the enemy tried twice to penetrate in our frontline. They had to retire. Imprisoned 7 soldiers, among them 4 wounded.”[vii]
7 Nov. 18.05 3 Pz. Gren. Div.
“Again imprisoned 2 soldiers of the 119 Reg. 30 inf. Div, who were captured near the slag pile west of the railway station of Würselen. In the morning the enemy attacked the sector of Pz. Gren. Rgt 8.The enemy battalion succeeded in breaking our frontline in North and Northwest of Würselen. A counter-attack of our Regiment obliged the American battalion to withdraw. They lost a lot of man and war materials. At 10.00 o clock we recovered our frontline. Taken 6 prisoners.”[viii]
Within Allison’s IDPF are two Wermacht documents detailing the record of his death but the details do not lead to a cause of death or time. The Wermacht buried him and the whereabouts were eventually reported to the Swiss delegation of the International Red Cross on February 10, 1945. His body was moved to Grave 248, Row 10 of the US Military Cemetery at Margraten and the family finally received official word of his death on or around March 1st, 1945. His family had his remains returned to the States but with the hurdles involved it took until 1949 to do so. Upon the return of his remains, he was re-interred in the Pleasant View Cemetery in the Cumberland Heights area outside of Clarksville, Tennessee. [ix]
QUESTIONS LEFT TO ANSWER:
Was he wounded and captured part of the party mentioned by the Wermacht on 6 November ?
Was he killed in the assault mentioned in the Wermacht report of 7 November?
[i] Letter from Camp Blanding Special Training Unit in Florida March 25,1943
[ii] Letter from Camp Forrest, Tullahoma, Tennessee 7/19/1943
[iii] Letter from Tennessee Maneuver area Oct 30, 1943
[iv] Letter from Camp Atterbury, Indiana December 2, 1943
[v] V-Mail: Emmett M. Kingston to Allison Jackson, Sr. dated Sept. 7, 1944
[vi] Excerpt from “Combat History of the 119th Infantry Regiment”. Supplied by Leon Karhausen, Netherlands.
[vii] German Army Report furnished by Leon Karhausen, Netherlands
[viii] German Army Report furnished by Leon Karhausen, Netherlands
[ix] Individual Deceased Personnel File of Allison Ray Jackson and,
Obituary and re-internment notice from Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle dated April 5, 1949
1947 Memorial Day service program at Margraten US Cemetery. He was buried there until 1948 when his remains were returned to the United States. The program came from a Dutch family that had adopted his grave. Bless the Dutch!!!
Scan of one thing a family did not want to see, other than the dreaded telegram. A returned V-Mail that was rerouted and marked "Deceased". ( In this case, Billy believes the family got this before they actually received the telegram announcing his death. )