William Bernard Allenbaugh was born to William Francis and Elizabeth M. Allenbaugh on January 23, 1944 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.Bill’s early years were spent in Gardenville, MD. His two sisters, Mary and Eleanor and brother Michael watched this mischievous kid grow into a gentle man who was admired by many. His primary education was at St. Anthony’s School and from there he graduated to Calvert Hall College High School. His interests paralleled those of many boys with football and bowling topping his list. His friends piqued his interest in auto mechanics and together, they were known to dismantle and rebuild an automobile until it was road worthy.
Following graduation, he went to work for the Maryland State Motor Vehicle Administration. His enthusiasm was obvious and earned him a transfer to the Pikesville Barracks of the Maryland State Police where he was a teletype operator for three years. While working at that facility, he met, and eventually married, Sandra Lee Scheler.
Bill wasn’t too keen on being drafted, so opted to join the United States Navy. He was assigned to basic training at Great Lakes, and then was transferred to NCTC Corry Station Pensacola, Florida where his skills as a teletype operator were honed. After he successfully completed his training, he was sent to Cheltenham, Maryland where he began using his new found skills.
A son, William Bernard Allenbaugh, Jr. was born to Bill and Sandra Lee on March 16, 1966. A little more than a year later, on March 29, 1967, Patricia Ann Allenbaugh was born. Both children never had an opportunity to know this fine, young man because he was killed on June 8, 1967 while serving aboard the USS LIBERTY.
Bill had exactly one year left until his enlistment was to expire. His wish at the time of death was to return to Maryland and continue work with the State Police, one of the loves of his short life.
A poem by William B. Allenbaugh, Jr. that is dedicated to his father, William Bernard Allenbaugh, Sr. killed on the USS LIBERTY, 8 June 1967
To earn their pay,
To raise their families,
Day by Day.
Fathers console their children,
When they are sad,
They punish their children
When they are bad.
Some families don’t have Fathers,
They are killed or die,
Some are in prison,
Others run away and cry.
But without Fathers,
Where would we be,
Probably swimming out farther,
Then drowning, helplessly at sea.