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Allan Jackson, WWII War Correspondent and Photographer

July 26, 1995

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) _ Allan Jackson, a World War II correspondent who took a famous photo of U.S. and Soviet troops linking up at the Elbe River after defeating Nazi troops, shot himself to death. He was 80.

Jackson, who also worked for the State Department and was an editor and editorial writer for the Pensacola News Journal from 1971 to 1974, had been in constant pain since he suffered a heart attack in October, said his wife, Betty. He also had been diagnosed with a form of diabetes that causes deterioration of muscles and nerves, she said.

Jackson shot himself Tuesday.

``I guess he just didn’t want to go on any longer,″ she said. ``He was such a man of vigor and life. He always called the shots. He was never afraid of anything.″

As a war correspondent for the International News Service, Jackson survived the sinking of the cruiser USS Helena by Japanese torpedoes in the South Pacific and later covered campaigns in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge.

Jackson took the widely circulated photo of American and Red Army soldiers shaking hands on April 25, 1945, at the Elbe River in Torgau, Germany.

In 1951, he began a 20-year government career working for the State Department and U.S. Information Agency. He served as an information, press and cultural affairs officer in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two children from a previous marriage: Kathleen Beckett of Madison, Wis., and Robert Jackson of Walnut Creek, Calif.

A memorial service will be private.

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