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    Lucki Allen Deploys to Vietnam (14 OCT 1967)

    Lucki Allen Deploys to Vietnam (14 OCT 1967)

    Photo By Lori Stewart | On 14 October 1967, Doris I. “Lucki” Allen, an intelligence analyst and...... read more read more

    By Lori S. Stewart, USAICoE Command Historian

    14 OCTOBER 1967
    On 14 October 1967, Doris I. “Lucki” Allen, an intelligence analyst and interrogator, deployed to Vietnam for her first tour of duty. Between October 1967 and September 1970, she spent thirty-six consecutive months in Vietnam.

    Doris graduated from Tuskegee University with a degree in physical education but, in October 1950, she decided to enlist in the U.S. Army’s Women’s Army Corps. She could have entered the Army as an officer, but she wanted to “come up through the ranks” and “experience it all.” After early assignments in the entertainment and public information fields, in 1963, she completed French language training and then became the first woman to attend the Prisoner of War Interrogation course at the U.S. Army Intelligence School at Fort Holabird, Maryland. She spent two years as the sole strategic intelligence analyst covering Latin American affairs at the U.S. Continental Army Command Intelligence Center, Fort Bragg (known as Fort Liberty since 2023).

    In October 1967, at the age of forty, Spec. 7 Allen volunteered for service in Vietnam, “instead of just sitting back here and knowing… my intelligence [specialty] would save lives.” She served first as the senior intelligence analyst at the Army Operations Center, 1st Logistical Command at Long Binh. In December, Allen, the only woman in the intelligence section, was convinced an attack by more than 50,000 enemy troops would take place on 31 January 1968. Assuming the Viet Cong were being reinforced, potentially by the Chinese, she drafted a report to that effect. Her supervisor, impressed with her analysis, directed her to take it to the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) J-2 in Saigon. There, her report was discounted and lumped in with other intelligence reports warning of a coming offensive of undetermined time and place. The Tet Offensive indeed occurred in late January 1968.

    Allen’s warnings about other events saved lives. About a possible rocket attack on Long Binh in early 1969, she wrote, “My analysis of countless documents, both friendly and enemy, led me to the conclusion that the enemy had placed well over a hundred 122mm rockets around the Long Binh perimeter and their activation was imminent.” After she sent a memo and followed up with a personal visit, II Field Force reluctantly investigated. “The following day, a few rounds of duster fire were put out giving up ‘a few’ secondary explosions. The following day, the air strike in that designated area produced 117 secondary explosions up to 100 feet high.”

    She also produced a report of the enemy’s use of 82mm chemical rounds. Forewarned, forces in the Cua Viet area were able to avoid those that fell in their area, saving the lives of more than one hundred Marines. Her reports were not always heeded, however. In September 1969, her warning of a possible ambush on a convoy in the Song Be area was ignored, and three soldiers died.

    In the spring of 1970, Allen was appointed a warrant officer, one of only nine female warrant officers in Army intelligence and one of only twenty-three in the entire Army. In March, she moved to Saigon to oversee the Translation Branch of the Combined Document Exploitation Center, where she supervised forty South Vietnamese nationals employed to translate captured documents. After seeing three enemy documents calling for her own elimination, she decided it was time to leave Vietnam. She redeployed in September 1970.

    Throughout her time in Vietnam, Allen recalled battling against what she called her three strikes: being an enlisted, African American woman. Still, her hard work earned her the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, a Vietnam Service Medal for participation in ten campaigns, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. CWO3 Doris Allen retired in 1980 with thirty years of distinguished service. In addition to being a member of the MI Hall of Fame, Lucki Allen is the namesake of the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Career College’s Distinguished Honor Graduate Award.

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    Date Taken: 10.06.2023
    Date Posted: 10.06.2023 17:21
    Story ID: 455384
    Location: US

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