Allen V. (Babe) Hudspeth passed away at 8:40 a.m. on May 8, 2013, at his home with his loving family at his side. Visitation will be held Sunday, May 12, 6-8 p.m., at Baum Carlock Bumgardner Funeral Home in Mineral Wells.
Graveside services will be held Monday, May 13, at 1 p.m. at Woodland Park Cemetery.
Babe was born in Rochester on Jan. 5, 1922, to James and Virgie (Foster) Hudspeth. Babe and his siblings were raised by his mother after his dad died at an early age. He married the love of his life, Lottie Grace Siler, on Feb. 14, 1940, and they were together for 73 years before Grace passed away Feb. 9, 2013.
When Babe was only 16 years old, World War II was well underway and with the urging of his three older brothers, he enlisted in the Texas National Guard 124th Cavalry Regiment in Mineral Wells and began training with the F Troop, a horse-mounted regiment. He was sent to Fort Bliss in El Paso for three months training and then to Fort Ringgold, Rio Grande City, for two years.
In April 1942, Babe and about two dozen others were sent to join the F Troop of their sister unit, 112th Cavalry Regiment, in the South Pacific. Babe went first to the French Island of New Caledonia and Australia to train and get equipment while several of his brothers went to clear the Burma Road between China and India. They had to leave their horses behind when they left for the jungle island battles. Babe saw his first action when they helped take the island of New Britain.
The group was sent in to the middle of the island to distract the Japanese forces for the main assault on Gloucester. Though the group had artillery and anti-aircraft support, they were a “regimental combat unit” and were not attached to a larger group and had no support. The battle involved around 6,000 Americans against a force of 100,000 Japanese, taking place for several days, until the 1st Marine Division took over the airport and other important areas in Gloucester.