Local 90-Year-Old Hero Awarded Purple Heart

90-year-old local hero W. Reid Allen astonished to receive his decades overdue Purple Heart at birthday party event90-year-old local hero W. Reid Allen astonished to receive his decades overdue Purple Heart at birthday party eventEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid AllenEvent Honors 90-Year-Old Local Hero W. Reid Allen

FRANZ A.D. MORALES | Photography courtesy CRAIG WALLACE

3:48 am | July 24, 2013


A birthday event on Saturday to honor 90-year-old W. Reid Allen’s service to the community turned into an emotionally-charged Purple Heart medal pinning ceremony, much to the surprise of Allen. Hosted by Pasadena Kiwanis, the University club event was attended by 115 people including five former Kiwanis presidents.

The program’s highlight was the presentation to Allen of a Purple Heart medal by former Kiwanis International President and Brigadier General (retired) Donald R. Canaday. Canaday recounted Allen’s service to the country during World War II. “He was on a sub-chaser in Subic Bay when it was attacked by Japanese Kamakazi aircraft. [The explosion] cut the chains of the anchor and it swung around. It hit him (Allen) and three other sailors and knocked them off the ship into the ocean. It did extensive damage to his right hand and arm. Allen was evacuated to California where he took rehab. But he never got his Purple Heart,” says Canaday. The reason? Allen’s service records were destroyed in a massive at the military records center in St. Louis on July 12, 1973.

Allen was also presented with certificates of recognition from several government officials including Congresswoman Judy Chu, but what surprised Allen the most was being awarded the Purple Heart by Canaday. “It was a great honor for me to be able to present it to him and it was an emotional time for both of us and an emotional time for the audience. There were a lot of tears shed,” says Canaday. The event was arranged to honor Allen and his service to Kiwanis as well as his role with Rosemary Children’s Services. Allen was a one-time board member of Rosemary, served on the Star Chefs Committee for several years, and has served and supported Rosemary Children’s Services for several decades. Allen is described as the type of man who gives and gives, without asking for anything in return. He continues to be an instrumental figure with Rosemary’s Children’s Services.