We now know the name on the headstone was wrong. It had been misspelled.
“A lot of people had respect for it even though it’s a misprint.”
Milford Allen was supposed to be Wilford Allen and for the last four months, since it was discovered on Rick and Shelia Borders property, the marker has sat under a grand oak tree in their front yard.
“There were a lot of comments about it. People were interested. Where it came from, what happened and trying to help figure out where it needed to be,” says Shelia.
It was never supposed to be here.
“We always appreciate when people come forward with something like this because it gives us a chance to make it right.” Craig LaChance is the director of Barrancas National Cemetary onboard NAS Pensacola and while he says discovery’s like this are rare. It does happen. “The contractor may not have followed the proper disposal procedures for an imperfect stone, or it could have been a shipping problem.”
The 150 pound stone has been taken to the national cemetery and will be destroyed according to LaChance. “What we’ll do is remove the inscription off of the face of the stone and make sure there is no readable information or nothing like that and then we will go ahead and destroy the stone and dispose of it properly.”
The Borders had gotten used to the monument in their front yard. “Sort of sad to see it go from under my tree but it’s been honored,” says Shelia.
The mystery solved, the mistake corrected, the real headstone in its rightful place.
World War II veteran Wilford Allen is laid to rest in Semmes in the Allentown Cemetery.