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Last member of the Bedford Boys has passed away

Photo courtesy National D-Day Memorial Bedford Boys book
Photo courtesy National D-Day Memorial Bedford Boys book (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

BEDFORD (WSLS 10) -- The last member of the Bedford Boys has passed away.

Allen Huddleston died early Wednesday morning in Bedford.

Huddleston was a member of the U.S. Army National Guard 116th Infantry, 29th Division.

He wasn't able to join the rest of his unit on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944 because he broke his ankle two weeks earlier during training.

April Cheek-Messier, President of the National D-Day Memorial, released the following statement after learning of Huddleston's passing:

We are very saddened by the loss of Allen Huddleston.  Like his fellow Bedford Boys, he made his way to England, endured intense training, and prepared for what would become the turning point of World War II. Though a broken ankle kept him from the D-Day beaches on June 6, his determination and spirit led him to rejoin Company A in late August. Though Allen did not talk about his experiences in detail, he often remarked that it was devastating to rejoin his company and recognize no one. Company A had endured a 90% casualty rate on the beaches of Normandy. Allen continued on and at the battle of Aachen in Germany he was wounded and sent back to England. Allen will always be remembered by those of us at the Memorial and by his fellow 29ners. Our most recent addition to the monument, the sculpture HOMAGE, has his name inscribed on an accompanying plaque. His contributions to the war effort will not be forgotten.   

Robert Key and Allen Huddleston in April 2015 celebrating Huddleston's birthday
Robert Key and Allen Huddleston in April 2015 celebrating Huddleston's birthday

Fellow 29th Division veteran and friend Robert Key says Huddleston was quote "a real southern gentleman."

We'll hear more from Key about Huddleston and their friendship Wednesday night on WSLS 10 at 11.

Photo courtesy National D-Day Memorial. A picture of  the sculpture, Homage , where Huddleston's name is inscribed.
Photo courtesy National D-Day Memorial. A picture of the sculpture, Homage , where Huddleston's name is inscribed.