Charles G. Allen Co. employees died in World War II

BARRE – According to their company website, the Charles G. Allen Co. was founded in Barre in 1874, the year of the town’s centennial, established shortly after the Civil War by Dr. Charles G. Allen.

Among the first items made at the Allen Co. was the “Yankee” hay rake, along with other horse-drawn farm equipment. In 1904, the Charles G. Allen Co. manufactured its first sensitive vertical drill, eventually producing over 36,000 such machines.

During this period, the company received the Army/Navy Blue Gold Production Award for Excellence in Manufacturing in Support of the War Effort.

In addition to its production equipment, the Allen Foundry also saw many of its employees enter service. Sadly, a trio of them never made it home, paying the ultimate price with their lives.

This is the sequel to the Remembering Local World War 2 Heroes series.

Pvt. William M. Harty (1916-1944)

William Martin Harty was born September 2, 1916 in Barre, son of John F. and Mary E. (Amsden) Harty. He lived on Williamsville Road with four sisters, Evelyn, Alberta, Marion and Ruth, and six brothers, John Jr., Roger, Richard, Thomas, Gerald and Daniel.

William was employed by the Charles G. Allen Co. He was married to the former Genevieve V. Androkonis and inducted into the military in March 1944.

On October 26, 1944, his wife, Geneviève, was informed that her 28-year-old husband had been missing since September 20. Two months later, on December 19, 1944, she received official word from a War Ministry telegram that Private Harty lost his life in action in France on September 20.

At the time of her husband’s death, Mrs. Harty had a 4-year-old son, Joseph M. Harty, and a daughter Joyce, 1½.

He was buried in the American Cemetery in Lorraine, France.

Pvt. Edwin A. Sundberg (1919-1944)

Edwin Armas Sundberg was born September 27, 1919 in Worcester to August and Matilda Saima (Nurmi) Sundberg. His parents were both born in Finland. He lived on Old Petersham Road in Barre with brothers Allen and Leslie and his sister Lillian.

He attended Barre High School for two years and was later employed at the Charles G. Allen Co. He was married to the former Sylvia M. Marron.

Private Sundberg joined the army on July 15, 1942 and had been out of the country since early 1944 with the 349th Infantry.

On August 20, 1944, his parents received a telegram from the War Department stating that Sundberg had disappeared in action in Italy on July 24, 1944. However, two weeks later they received letters from their son – one written on July 13 August and the other on August 14 – which proved otherwise. The letters said he was in good health but had been unable to write home because he was away.

Two months later another telegram was sent to Mr. and Mrs. Sundberg and this time the news was a bit more dire. He noted that their 23-year-old son, Pvt. Sundberg had been missing in Italy since September 24.

It was later learned that Pvt. Sundberg died of his injuries on October 21, 1944.

He was buried in Glen Valley Cemetery in Barre.

Pfc Albert E. Taylor (1918-1945)

Albert Edward Taylor was born on April 10, 1918 in Lynn. He attended high school for four years and then worked in Barre at the Charles G. Allen Foundry. He married the former Helen T. Jokela and they had twin sons, Burt and Robert, born in 1943. The family lived on Exchange Street in Barre.

Taylor entered the military in September 1943, eventually serving in the medical corps in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany. He was a member of the 38th Infantry, 7th Battalion Armored Division of the Army.

On July 23, 1945, Private Taylor was killed in a car accident in Belgium at the age of 27. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Leaf with Oak Bunches, three Battle Stars, and the Bronze Star Medal.

Comments and suggestions for Remembering Local World War II Heroes can be sent to Mike Richard at [email protected] or in writing Mike Richard, 92 Boardley Road, Sandwich, MA 02563.