World War II Veteran Receives Medals on 100th Birthday

World War II veteran Bill Allen is awarded the Bronze Star on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, as he celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends at an assisted living facility in Ridgeland, Miss. (Senator Roger Wicker/Facebook)

RIDGELAND, Miss. — A Mississippi World War II veteran was awarded a Bronze Star Medal on his 100th birthday this week.

Billups “Bill” H. Allen, of Ridgeland, Mississippi, served in the U.S. Army as an infantry platoon leader with the 29th Division in Europe. The Bronze Star Medal is the service’s fourth-highest award.

Allen, a lieutenant, also received a replacement medal for his Purple Heart award, which was lost in December 1945 when he was evacuated from a hospital during the Battle of the Bulge. Allen also was awarded the Army of Occupation medal, an honor to recognize veterans who had served in Germany, Italy, Austria, Japan or Korea immediately following World War II.

The ceremony was held on Monday in the courtyard of The Blake assisted living facility, where Allen lives. Attendance was limited to family members and facility staff because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who assisted Allen’s family with their application for the medal, described him as an “American hero who distinguished himself during World War II."

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