Allen Bodenlos Bugle Master
Allen Bodenlos was born August 13, 1920 in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from High school in 1940. While in HS, he joined the school band and played trumpet along with French Horn and Baritone horn. He wanted to become a musician after high school and had been accepted into a conservatory but decided to enlist into the armed forces. He enlisted July 9, 1940 and when he reported to Fort Ord, California for training with the 13th Combat Engineers he was made a bugler then a bugle master (teacher of the bugle) because of his abilities on the trumpet. As a duty bugler he was responsible (along with 4 others) in sounding bugle class at various times during the day. Reveille, Assembly, Mess Call, Retreat, Taps etc.…
A duty sergeant would be responsible for waking buglers up to sound the first calls in the morning. This usually involved having the bugler tie a towel at the foot of the bed so the sergeant would know who to wake up. A favorite anecdote had him hearing some loud noises early one morning and thinking he had missed his wake up grabbed his bugle and ran to the parade field sound Reveille. He played that familiar signal into the large bugle megaphone set on the field. He said it was a thrill to see the lights going on all around him until he found out it was 0330.
He was was sent to Hawaii in 1941 and he continued his duties as a bugler while assigned to the 804th Engineer aviation Battalion attached to the Army air Corps. His playing abilities plus the jazzy versions of the calls caught the attention of the commanding officer who asked him if he would like to form a drum and bugle corps. We was delighted and on Saturday December 6th he was shopping for instruments with Clyde Williams, a friend from the USS Arizona Band. Allen enjoyed hearing the dance bands from the battleships stationed at Pearl Harbor and meeting the trumpet players from those groups. That Saturday evening he attended the semi finals of a Battle of the Bands. Turning down an offer to spend the night on the Arizona, he stayed in one of the cottages military personnel could rent. Williams died on the USS Arizona
The next morning found him watching in horror as the skies filled with enemy planes and black smoke rising from burning ships in the harbor. He spent the next two days carrying messages between headquarters and air fields.
Real hero-Thanks for your service!!
Allen Bodenlos, Bugle Master and Pearl Harbor Survivor passed away on November 17, 2014 at the VA Medical Center in San Diego of complications from pneumonia. He was President of his chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivor Association and a frequent speaker and volunteer up until his final weeks at the age of 94.