Clarence "Talliq" Allen, Sr., originally from Noatak, Alaska, speaks on February 29, 1996 during the Communities of Memory public storytelling event held at the NANA Museum in Kotzebue, Alaska from February 29 to March 2, 1996. He talks about his experience in the Alaska Territorial Guard, going to Fort Richardson near Anchorage for training, retiring from the military, and what he learned from military service.
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Joining the Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) in 1943
Drafting of four men from Noatak into the war and being sent to Nome for training
End of the war, and staying in the service
Joining the National Guard, and retiring from the military
Taking care of dogs in the military, and learning to be a truck driver
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CLARENCE ALLEN: My name is Clarence T. Allen. Talliq for T. Eskimo name.
I’m from Noatak, I was born 15-20 miles from up the village of Noatak. 1925.
And -- while at school, there was the wa -- war. When the Japs got in. There was war going on.
I joined the ATG 1943. During that time -- Muktuk Marston used to go to the village of Noatak. Not always, but once in a while with dog team. With a fellow by the name of Felix Booth. Maybe some of you know him, Felix Booth, he’s from Point Hope or northwestern part of Alaska. Used to tell us about the war, tell us about being ready.
And during the war, there was four of us that got drafted into service. This going to be brief. It won't be long.
We got four of us boys got drafted from Noatak during the war. That was in March. Later part of April, first part. There was me, Theodore Booth, Gene Booth, and Roger Farquhar.
Roger had been gone since -- quite a while now, while I was in the service. And there was only one airline. One, possibly two.
There was Archie Ferguson down here, he was a pilot.
Four -- four of us from Noatak got in. I stayed with Kenworthy, Annie Kenworthy.
There was no hotel at that time. She kept me and the other three boys were some other place. And in the morning, them three boys went out to the field down by the ice to Archie’s plane.
And Archie can only carry three at that time. And I was the last one to go down and I was left behind.
And -- while waiting, the storm came up. The storm was -- must've lasted about a week or two at that time. And I was still storm bound here trying to get -- over to Nome.
And over there we have -- we had to stay about three months in order to get our stomach with white man's food. That niqipiaq or whatever you call it.
And Theodore was the only one that passed in Nome. Them other two, Gene Booth and Roger Farquhar did not pass. But I also passed. But I was about a week or two behind Theodore.
So I stayed in Nome, Theodore had gone on ahead to Anchorage, Fort Richardson. And I finally went down, he was in cycle 21 and I was in cycle 22.
During the war, while training, we had to have thirteen months of training then. On the last week or so, we had -- we had to go bivouac. You call bivouac with a full pack, three day outdoor life. With a tent, rifle gear, whatever you can take.
On -- on the first break, that first hour or so, we were just taking off. The jeep came around, the boys -- go back, the war is over. Boy, we hollered. And we all went back.
And I said, that’s when the war ended. We didn’t have to go out three day bivouac. That was feel good.
And I stayed in the service ‘til 45. After I stayed in the service, I went to work as USDD down at Fort Rich. Down at Anchorage.
Fort Rich was old as Elmendorf now, but then Elmendorf was Fort Rich combined then. Now later on they build Fort Rich. I st -- I stayed down there ‘til ’46, ’47. I went to Fairbanks, got a little tangle over there. Got married -- in ’49, went back home then.
Right after I went home, we started these guards. National Guards, what they call. 1950s. Since then I have been wearing this uniform, since 1950. And I retired, I had been told to retire at the age of 60.
And I retired with 36 years of service. It could have been over 40 if all my points were all good. Some points were -- you have to have 50 points in a year to make a good year.
Must be about four, five, six years that -- that went down the drain without that 50 points. I’d have over 40 years. That’s pretty much my time then. Thanks for listening.
CYNTHEA AINSWORTH: What did you learn in the service that you think would be important for young people? CLARENCE ALLEN: Pardon, ma’am?
CYNTHEA AINSWORTH: What did you learn in the service that you think would be important for young people to know today?
CLARENCE ALLEN: Well, it was good. At that time, I was told I could go to the Alaskan Scouts. They had dogs to take care of down there. And they traveled through dogs, or boating in summertime.
I think Leo Sheldon -- I mean Leo Schaeffer was in the Scouts then in that time. And Bob Uhl and Theodore, my partner, he was with Alaska Scouts, too.
Jacob Savok was there too, with the Alaska Scouts.
And I choose not to go there ‘cause I thought I might learn something from U.S. engineers, which I did. Then I became a truck driver then. Thank you.