Rev. Allis and his wife, Emeline Palmer Allis, are buried here in Wall Cemetery. He was active as a missionary with the Pawnee Indians here in 1834-1846, and was a missionary in the Nebraska area for over 40 years. This would make him one of the earliest of the travelers to come to Nebraska right after Lewis and Clark went through, and a definite pioneer who had a direct impact on our history. He died on December 12, 1883 in Fremont, Nebraska, but is supposedly buried here. The cemetery got its name from Civil War Union Army colonel and physician Dr. W. R. Wall, who moved to Iowa after the war and married one of Rev. Allis' daughters.
One of their direct descendants was Vernon Palmer Wall, who enlisted in the Navy within days of Pearl Harbor. He was assigned to the submarine Seawolf, which was lost at sea with all hands presumed dead on October 7, 1944. The Seawolf had been on a secret mission to the Japanese-held Phillipine Islands, delivering interpreters, radar equipment and supplies. After delivering their cargo, they were assumed to have been hit by the Japanese and left crippled. There is reason to believe now that they were hit by "friendly fire" as they lay crippled, a US destroyer unaware they were firing on a US sub. In any case, the Seawolf never returned from her mission. His grieving family put up a cenotaph marker which is dedicated to him.
Click here to see a photo of Vernon Palmer Wall, and read a bit about his service record, at the On Eternal Patrol website for lost submariners. My thanks to Charles Hinman for this link.
"In memory of MM1C Vernon Palmer Wall.
Son of Henry O. – Edna N. Wall.
September 11, 1922 – October 7, 1944.
Lost at sea in the Pacific with submarine Seawolf."
Until September of 1979, the cemetery itself had been forgotten and neglected. None of the family lived in the Midwest anymore and as is happening everywhere, acreages around the plot were being sold to people who built houses on them. Roy Gaddis, a former electrician's mate on a submarine who is a retired electrician and lives in Bellevue, Nebraska, found the cemetery and alerted the Wahoo, Nebraska Chapter of Submarine Veterans of WWII (click the link to visit the main website for this group, and it's best viewed in Internet Explorer). The historian for the group, Clint Orr, did some investigating and found the information on Vernon Wall. He and Ray Cavanaugh began cleaning up and mowing the small plot that year. After some of the Wall family members learned of the plot's existence, they donated funds to put up a strong chain link fence to replace the hog wire that had ineffectively enclosed the cemetery, and money for shrubs and plants. The Submarine Vets keep a US flag flying over the land to honor Wall and all Submariners who lost their lives in the war. It is a small but impressive cemetery.
Visit the page for Seawolf Park in Galveston, Texas.
Visit the page put together by the men who dedicated the Seawolf memorial park in Texas. Vernon Palmer Wall's name is on the Seawolf roster on a plaque, in the park. My thanks to Art Randall for sending me the information on the National Submarine Memorial pages.