The Alford American Family Association
HOME    ·    Databases   ·    Contact Us   ·    Updates     
Allen Stephens Alford



AAFA #0698

1922 TN – 2001 TN


Photos from The Erwin Nine, provided to the author by the Alford family



Elizabethton, Carter Co., TN—Tuesday, 10 July 2001


            Allen Stephens Alford Sr., 78, 1525 Rock Creek Road, Erwin, died Tuesday, July 3, 2001, at the residence.

            Mr. Alford was a native of Washington County, Tenn., having lived in Spartanburg, S.C., and Augusta, Ga., before moving to Erwin in 1967.

            He was the son of the late Paul C. and Bessie Moore Alford and was also preceded in death by two brothers, Paul Alford and Jack Alford, and a sister, Elizabeth Early.

            Mr. Alford was a World War II Army Corps Veteran, having served in the European Theater. He was a recipient of the Purple Heart, the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal with One Silver Star, the Air Medal, Prisoner of War Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. He was taken prisoner by the Germans in 1944 while flying a mission over Germany and was held for 14 months. He was one of the Erwin Nine (nine men from Erwin all held in the same German prison camp).

            Mr. Alford was a traffic manager in charge of sales with Clinchfield Railroad before retiring in 1980 after 43 years of service. He was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church. He was a member of the Traffic Fraternity, Masons, Toastmasters, American Ex-POWs and a former chairman of the Y.M.C.A. and a former Boy Scout Leader.

            He was a graduate of Unicoi County High School and a 1951 Milligan College graduate with a degree in business administration.

            Survivors include his wife, Doris Jean Beck Alford; three sons, Allen Stephens Alford Jr., Macon, Ga., Donald E. Alford, Johnson City, and Rob Alford, Erwin; two daughters, Teresa Lewis, Erwin, and Janice Hughes, Unicoi; three sisters, Frances Mallon, Alexander, Va., Sara Reid, Johnson City, and Rebecca Sharp, Elizabethton; three daughters-in-law, Carol Alford, Judy Alford and Kathy Alford; a son-in-law, Harry Lewis; and two brothers-in-law, John Mallon and James Sharp. Thirteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren also survive.

            Erwin Memorial Funeral Home, 1015 N. Main Avenue, Erwin, (423) 743-1390, is in charge of arrangements.


In another article, same source, same day:


            Funeral services for Allen Stephens Alford Sr., 78, 1525 Rock Creek Road, Erwin, who died Tuesday, July 3, 2001, were held at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 5, from the Erwin Memorial Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Terrill Littrell officiating. Music was provided by Nancy K. Bogart. Graveside services and interment were held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 6, at Mountain Home National Cemetery with full military grave rites rendered by the VFW Post #3382, Kingsport. Honorary pallbearers were Ex-POWs.

            …. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Centenary United Methodist Church, 203 N. Elm Street, Erwin, Tenn. 37650 or to the American Cancer Society, 2513 Wesley Street, Suite 4, Johnson City, Tenn. 37601. Erwin Memorial Funeral Home, 1015 N. Main Avenue, Erwin, (423) 743-1390, was in charge of arrangements.

Photo from Mountain Home National Cemetery, Johnson City, Washington Co., TN—

Permission granted by the photographer, Allen D. Jackson, USAF (Ret)


AAFA NOTES: SSDI records show that Allen S. Alford (SS# issued through the Railroad Board) was born 24 Sept 1922, last residence not listed.

            We included the obituaries of his wife, Doris Jean Beck Alford, in Tennessee Obituaries; paternal grandfather, Allen Stephens Alford, in South Carolina Obituaries; and paternal grandmother, Julia Ann Avery Alford, in Georgia Obituaries.

            As stated in the obituary, Allen Stephens Alford was a member of the Erwin Nine. A book about these nine Erwin men, The Erwin Nine, by Hilda Padgett (deceased, 2014), was published by The Overmountain Press in 1993. An excerpt of this book, including on pages 28-43 the full text of a 1992 interview with Allen and photos of him and his family, is at Google Books.

            Obituaries for Allen were also published in the Augusta [GA] Chronicle and Johnson City [TN] Press. We included the Johnson City Press obituary, where he is incorrectly listed as Allen Stephen Alford, with Allen’s In Remembrance in the Winter 2008 issue. We included the Augusta Chronicle obituary in the Winter 2005 issue, incorrectly including it with South Carolina obituaries.

            From his Find A Grave memorial:


            Staff Sergeant Allen Stephens Alford, Service Number 14156672, Waist Gunner, 703rd Bomb Squadron, 445th Bomb Group (Heavy), 2nd Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Taken Prisoner by the German Army 24 February 1944 in Germany after being hit by flak and finally shot down by the German Air Force during the Air Offensive, Europe Unit Campaign, held at Stalag Luft 4, Gross Tychow, Poland.

            Allen flew this bombing mission as the Waist Gunner aboard B-24J Liberator #42-100335. His home base was USAAF Station 124 / RAF Tibenham located near Diss, Norfolk, England. Their target for this mission was the aircraft factory and aerodrome located in Gotha, Germany. Of their crew of nine, eight were taken prisoner and one was killed.

            Allen is one of the Erwin Nine. Nine men from Erwin, Unicoi County, Tennessee from 9 different Bomb Groups all ended up in Stalag Luft 4 and all survived to tell their stories.


            AAFA records list Allen’s father as Paul Coffer Alford, but all online family trees list him as Paul Cofer Alford.

            His lineage: Allen Stephens 1922 TN1, Paul Cofer 1883 GA2, Allen Stephens 1848 GA3, John Allen 1815 GA4, William about 1794 NC5, Kinchen 1768 NC6, Lodwick 1710 VA7, James 1687 VA8, John 1645 VA9.