Donald K. Allen became interested in World War II as a teenager in his hometown of Rockford, IL. It was “recent” history, and much of the world was still recovering from its effects. He read many battle accounts and histories through junior and high schools, eventually focusing more on the Pacific Theater. In 1967, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving as a military journalist in the Republic of the Philippines at Mactan AB and at George AFB, CA. In 1971 he attended Midwest Horseshoeing School in Macomb, IL, and headed back to school. Somewhere along the line, his WWII interest settled on the battle for Tarawa, and he read every account available. He often wondered what happened to Tarawa after the battle, and could find virtually nothing about how the atoll was used during the duration of the war. Thus began his quest to tell this story himself. He made two trips to Tarawa Atoll, once in 1997, and again in 1999, for field study and to explore their archives. Trips to the National Archives at College Park, MD followed, along with numerous interviews with Tarawa veterans. This book is a culmination of more than five years' work, in addition to practicing full time as a small animal veterinarian. Dr. Allen operates a solo practice in Youngstown, OH for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and wildlife.
He also served as a lieutenant colonel, U.S. Air Force Reserve (IMA), assigned to the Wright- Patterson AFB, OH Public Health Office. He retired from the Reserves April 30, 2010.