SGT Dallis A. Drake
Company B, 82nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Armored Division
KIA 27 July 1944
outside of Quibou, France
-- Written by Dallis' youngest grandchild, Lynn Taylor --
Dallis was born September 14, 1918 near Chapman Kansas to William and Theresea Drake. His mother's first marriage was to John Jegen.
They had ten children before he died of dropsy in 1910. In 1915 she married William and three years later Dallis was born. He was his
parents pride and joy.
His early school days were spent at a one room school house called Prairie Hill. He then went on to attend high school in Chapman. At that
time it was too far of a drive to make on a daily basis so he boarded in Chapman with a schoolmate. On the weekends a bus would take them
back home to their families. Dallis apparently didn't care too much for English and math or history for that matter, but he loved music.
In 1938 he joined the Calvary at Fort Riley Kansas. While he was stationed there he met Laura Harrison at a skating rink and they were
In 1940 Dallis was sent to active duty at Fort Benning Georgia where he became a soldier in the 2nd Armored Division. The division was
under the command of George Patton and it was not long before they earned the nickname "Hell on Wheels."
On February 3, 1941 Laura Deanna was born to Dallis and Laura. Dallis had about one year and nine months to spend with her before he was
shipped out in a convoy headed for Casablanca. The last time he saw his wife he told her, "Take care of my baby girl."
Dallis arrived in Africa on December 24, 1942. It was in Africa that he received a Dear John letter that his wife was divorcing him. His
commander helped him to find a lawyer and he eventually won custody of Deanna. Until he returned his parents were her temporary guardians.
After he was killed they became her permanent guardians.
In July of 1943 he was sent on to Sicily where he received the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action. While in Sicily he developed a bleeding
ulcer and was taken back to Africa. The ulcer was most assuredly caused, not only by the stress of battle, but also by the personal turmoil
he was going through in losing his wife and worrying about his little girl. He rejoined the rest of the men as they were shipped out through
the Mediterranean Sea bound for England. He was stationed at Tidworth Barracks in England.
On July 9, 1944 Dallis landed in Normandy. Eighteen days later the tall, quiet man who loved to sing "Home on the Range" and play the guitar
was killed outside of Quibou. Almost exactly four months later his older brother, William Jegen, died of wounds in Germany.
My journey to be able to tell the story of my Grandfather's life began on January 22, 2002. It began with a simple inquiry on a genealogy
website, "Looking for info on Sgt. Dallis A Drake, WWII." It was on that same day that I received a reply telling me what division he was in
and where he was buried. From there we found his Army records, school records, people who knew him when he was a boy, and his best friends
from the war. These simple words were repeated almost verbatim by everyone we met, "He was an all around great guy."
In July of 2004 we went to France for the first time. Not only did we see his grave but we also saw the place where he was killed. The Mayor
of Quibou had not known that Dallis and two of his men were killed outside of their town, but now that she does she would like to have a plaque
placed for them next summer. The grand finale, though, came after we returned home and found out his grave was adopted two years ago by a
wonderful family in France.
I feel a tremendous sense of honor to be able to write about my Grandfather. I am also surrounded by an overwhelming sense of peace as I know
his memory will live on not only through my family but also through AWON and all of our new friends in France.
Sgt. Dallis A. Drake your story has been told.