EM1C William Allen

October 30, 1910–December 7, 1941

Service #: 03811983
Residence: Jones, Iowa
Education: 4 years high school
Occupation: *****
Marital Status: Married
Enlistment Date: June 18, 1935
Enlistment Place: California
Service/Unit: Navy
Awards: *****
Burial: Courts of the Missing, Court 5, Honolulu Memorial

Think You're Doing Your Part?
Meet the McCartys of Onslow!


By Bernadine Smith

photoOnslow—And now comes a story to shatter the complacency of every person who bought a $100 defense bond, assumed he had done his bit and sat back to let the war fight and finance itself.

The heroine of the story is Mrs. Sam McCarty of Onslow. Mrs. McCarty is 52. She is also Jones county's first Gold Star mother of World War II.

First there was the news of Pearl Harbor. Then it was learned that the battleship Arizona was sunk, and Mrs. McCarty's heart stood still. Her eldest son, William Allen, was on the Arizona.

And he'd be on board, too; not on shore carousing around. "Billy wasn't that kind of boy," she said at the time. She was right. On Christmas morning the telegraph wires ticked off three tragic words, "Missing in action."

William was Mrs. McCarty's son by a former marriage. But that didn't dull the edge of his stepfather's feelings. The morning after Pearl Harbor, Sam and Mallie McCarty, fighting mad, went to the bank, withdrew every cent of their savings, and put it all in war bonds.

Mother Is Beneficiary

Onslow is a small town. Small towns are prone to gossip. “Wonder if he left his insurance to his wife or his mother?” Then the word spread that Mrs. Allen, at the time of the marriage, had waived rights to the money, that Mrs. McCarty was the beneficiary.

All Onslow knows Mallie McCarty works hard, as hard as any woman in town. Everybody figured that although money couldn't replace a son, it would ease the burdens of the years.

But from the first Mr. and Mrs. McCarty knew what they were going to do with the money. Every cent went into bonds to repay the debt of Pearl Harbor. Said Mrs. McCarty;

"I figured we'd been getting along and we would continue to, so we'd just give the government back its money. If it will help shorten the war so other mothers wouldn't have to go through what I've been through, that's all I want..”

How do the McCarty's get along? Nightly Mallie helps her son, Keith McCarty, deliver The Cedar Rapids Gazette. When that task is finished they start delivering milk from the Hunwardsen dairy all over town in a coaster wagon.

Mrs. McCarty is the janitor at the Onslow Presbyterian church. Every Sunday she builds the fires, rings the bells and dusts the seats until they shine like worn blue surge. In the spring she scrubs the church thoroughly and in the summer she mows the church lawn—also every other lawn she can get to mow. Sam McCarty may be 67 years old, but he's one of the busiest men in Onslow. He works daily in the Onslow Lumber Company, shoveling coal, loading lumber and doing odd jobs. He's village marshal, and he takes care of the town water supply and the electrical fuse box.

Keith is a junior in high school. After-school jobs keep him busy until 7 p.m., and supper is laid at the McCarty's.

After supper, so she can't be accused of wasting time, Mrs. McCarty crochets baskets for sale.

Honor Man In Class

Her oldest son enlisted in the navy June 18, 1935. An electrician's mate, first class, Allen was serving his second enlistment and had taken the examination which would have made him a chief electrician. When he graduated from technical school at the San Diego naval training station, he was honor man in his class.

At the rally to boost sales of bonds to be held in Onslow Tuesday night, the McCarty family won't make speeches or sing “Remember Pearl Harbor.” But when the roll is called of people who do more than their bit, the McCartys will be there.


photo Sam McCarty is 67, but he works as hard as the rest of the family. He's the village marshal. Above he is stacking shingles at an Onslow lumberyard where he is employed. photo Supper is over but work is not. After the evening meal Mrs. McCarty sits down to crochet baskets for sale. When she invested her son's insurance in war bonds, Mrs. McCarty _____ that the family had been getting along and she guessed they still could.
photo Part of Mrs. Sam McCarty's daily routine is delivering The Cedar Rapids Gazette to Onslow subscribers with her son, Keith. When Mrs. McCarty's older son, William Allen, was killed at Pearl Harbor (he was a member of the crew of the Arizona), she not only invested all her savings in war bonds, but bought more bonds with William's insurance money.

Source: Cedar Rapids Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, April 5, 1942
Submitted by: Janet A. Brandt