During the month of August, the 47th Lights for Peace flag to fly at the Fort Taber – Fort Rodman Military Museum honors the memory of Arthur R. Allain, or New Bedford, who passed away on April 19th at the age of 92.
Allain was born in New Bedford on March 7, 1931, the son of the late Thadde and Rosalie (LeBlanc) Allain. He was inducted into the United States Army on May 16, 1952 in Boston and served during the Korean War, spending one year, 3 months and 15 days overseas. He attained the rank of Corporal and was honorably discharged on May 4, 1954, spending nearly two years serving his country. Allain was awarded the Korean Service Medal with 2 bronze stars, the National Defense Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.
“The armed conflict in Korea, which began in 1950, lasted three years and claimed the lives of millions of Korean soldiers and civilians on both sides, hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers, and more than 36,000 U.S. soldiers,” according to Brittanica.com. “However, the United States never formally declared war on North Korea, China, or the Soviet Union. And, although the U.S. military led the United Nations’ expeditionary force, its involvement was tied only to a UN Security Council resolution, because the UN itself cannot declare war. Consequently, the conflict in Korea did not technically constitute a war,” although the conflict is often referred to as the Korean War.
The Korean War was a conflict between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in which at least 2.5 million people lost their lives. “The war reached international proportions in June 1950 when North Korea, supplied and advised by the Soviet Union, invaded the South. The United Nations, with the United States as the principal participant, joined the war on the side of the South Koreans, and the People’s Republic of China came to North Korea’s aid. After more than a million combat casualties had been suffered on both sides, the fighting ended in July 1953 with Korea still divided into two hostile states. Negotiations in 1954 produced no further agreement, and the front line has been accepted ever since as the de facto boundary between North and South Korea.”
Upon completing his military service, Allain went to work for Sunbeam Bakery as a baker and then moved into the shipping and receiving department. Upon leaving Sunbeam Bakery, he went to work for Tweeve Manufacturing, where he would later retire from. Allain was a hard worker and at times worked 2-3 jobs, working part-time at Central Pharmacy and Central Liquors.
Bob Silveira, Allain’s nephew and godson, explains, “While serving in Korea, (Arthur) found out that my mother was pregnant with me. When he got to Japan on leave, he somehow got word to her that he wanted to be the godfather. So, she waited for him to return.”
Silveira went on to explain that his uncle was “a very quiet guy who was extremely proud of his country and his military service in Korea. He was instrumental in getting a monument to honor his friend PFC Rene G. Poitras, who was killed in action (KIA) in the Korean War.
Arthur marched in every Memorial Day parade he could and then drove in a vehicle when he was not able to walk in the parade. He also enjoyed word search puzzles and watching New England sports, especially the Red Sox. In his earlier years, he enjoyed fishing on the Cape Cod Canal.
He is survived by his nephews, Robert Silveira and his wife Barbara of Plymouth, William Silveira and his wife Debra of Lakeville, Bernard Allain and his wife Maureen of Dartmouth, Ronald Allain of Troy, NH, Bruce Allain of Warwick, RI and the late Rene Allain, Jr. of New Bedford; his nieces, Diane Gamache and her husband Paul of Freetown, Doreen Wotton and her husband Russell of Dartmouth; He was the brother of the late David, Francois, Cecile (Silveira), Zoel, Omer, Rene Sr. and Paul Allain.
Linda Ferreira, of Empire Ford of New Bedford, researches the life histories of area residents. American flags are provided by Empire Ford of New Bedford. Flags are raised by the staff at Fort Taber – Fort Rodman Military Museum. Those who would like to honor a local veteran in the future can contact Ferreira at email@example.com.