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Thread: 6/7 June again, 224 Squadron Liberator

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    Default 6/7 June again, 224 Squadron Liberator

    Hello All,

    A fellow from one of the other corners of the internet which I frequent is looking for details of the loss of Ethan Allen, an American in the RCAF, serving in 224 Squadron, who was lost on 6/7 June.

    From the other thread, and from the information at uboat.net, I understand he was likely to have been on 224/M or 224/B, which were shot down by U-256 or U-415 respectively.

    Can anyone confirm which aircraft Allen was on, likely location of loss, other crew, etc.

    Many thanks in advance,

    Mark

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    Hi Mark,

    M/224 shot down by U256over western Channel.

    F/O E Allen DFC RCAF
    P/O M E Hayward RCAF
    F/L W J Esler RAAF
    P/O H E Pugsley
    Sgt A R Croft
    F/L L R Aust DFC DFM
    W/O H McIllaney
    Sgt D E Froggatt
    Sgt J A Mitchell
    Sgt A McLaughlin
    Sgt J B C Gray

    Regards
    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

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    He was discussed on this forum last year, if you use the search button with his name the postings will come up.
    Ian Macdonald

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    Many thanks to you both.

    Mark

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    There is a reference to Allen in rather interesting article about his mother, Kiki Preston, an American socialite who was rumoured to have had an illegitimate child with the Duke of Kent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiki_Preston
    Dave Wallace

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    I shall be modifying the award entry for E.E. Allen to reflect the new information from this thread, but the following is the last update I made on him:

    ALLEN, F/O Ethan 2nd (J21435) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.224 Squadron - Award effective 25 January 1944 as per London Gazette dated 8 February 1944 and AFRO 644/44 dated 24 March 1944. Born at Biarritz, France, 4 June 1919. His father was president of a cellophane plastic company which may explain his many moves. Educated at Mr. Gibbs School (London, England), Pembroke House (Kenya), La Chataignerair (Switzerland), France and the United States (St.George’s School in Newport, Rhone Island and University of California). Although his home is recorded as being New York City, he had merely travelled there to join the RCAF; his previous occupation had been in California (selling rare books). Enlisted in Montreal, 4 December 1941 and posted to No.1 Manning Depot. To No.1 Training Command, 21 December 1941. To No.6 ITS, 14 March 1942; graduated and promoted LAC, 8 May 1942 but not posted until 7 June 1942 when posted to No.3 EFTS, London; to No.9 EFTS, St. Catharines, 21 June 1942; graduated 14 August 1942 and posted next day to No.16 SFTS; graduated and commissioned 4 December 1942. To No.1 GRS, 4 December 1942. To “Y” Depot, 13 March 1943. To RAF overseas, 26 March 1943. Disembarked in United Kingdom, 10 April 1943. To No.224 Squadron, 14 May 1943. Promoted Flying Officer, 4 June 1943. Temporary Duty at Ballykelly, 18-28 October 1943. Killed in action 6/7 June 1944 (Liberator BZ942); name on Runnymede Memorial. Medal sent by registered mail to widow, October 1952. Photo PL-26997 shows him.

    Flying Officer Allen has completed many sorties and throughout has displayed great keenness and determination. One night as captain of aircraft he executed an attack on a large U-boat. Pressing home his attack with great determination, Flying Officer Allen straddled the vessel with a number of depth charges. On several other occasions this officer has participated in successful attacks on the enemy's underwater craft. By his skill, courage and coolness he has set a very fine example.

    His personal file has another citation provided for the University of California Honour Roll:

    This pilot by his skill, courage and coolness has set a very fine example in many sorties. On one occasion he pressed home his attack against a large U-boat with great determination and straddled the vessel with a number of depth charges. On several other attacks he has been successful against submarines.

    Training: Interviewed in Montreal, 1 December 1941. Noted that he had flown 16 hours dual (no solo), played all sports extensively. "Very good family, intelligent, cooperative, personality. Recommended."

    At No.6 ITS he was described as follows: "Excellent background; educated largely abroad; good appearance; likeable and very much in earnest; self possessed." Placed 18th in a class of 95.

    At No.9 EFTS he flew Tiger Moths (33 hours 25 minutes day dual, 34 hours 55 minutes day solo, one hour night dual). This included nine hours 45 minutes on instruments. Also logged 11 hours in Link. Flew eight hours dual before first solo. Placed 5th in a class of 32. "Very good background. Did a good job at this unit. Keen, responsive, intelligent. Stood 5th in course in G.I.S. Flying, good average. Instrument flying and Link, average." .

    Involved in flying accident, 7 August 1942, 0840 hours, Tiger Moth 3951 (seriously damaged). Ceiling unlimited, visibility 3-8 miles in haze, winds southeast, 5-15 m.p.h. He was solo and had 25 hours dual, 33 hours solo. Allen was uninjured; the other pilot (LAC James C. Cummings, Tiger Moth 8906, totally demolished) was slightly injured. Came down in a farmer’s field near Four Mile Creek Road.

    Collided in mid-air with another aircraft, striking it from above. Collision occurred at about 4,500 feet. Aircraft went partly out of control. Propellor was smashed and the ailerons did not respond to control. Brought aircraft in on forced landing and the craft turned over on its back.

    A report of the accident stated that the two Tiger Moths were flying too close to one another in contravention of Air Regulations. Blame was allocated to both pilots for failure to observe each other - “careless airmanship.” Note: There is a Flying Officer James C. Cummings killed in a flying accident, 9 November 1944 (Bolingbroke 10094, No.10 Bombing and Gunnery School) - not sure if this is the same man

    At No.16 SFTS he flew Anson aircraft (56 hours 25 minutes day dual, 69 hours 30 minutes day solo, two hours 25 minutes night dual, ten hours 30 minutes night solo). These figures included 14 hours 50 minutes in formation, 20 hours 40 minutes on instruments. Also logged 21 hours 30 minutes in Link. Navigation exercises involved six hours 55 minutes dual and 18 hours 35 minutes solo. Flew four hours 25 minutes dual before first solo. Described as "Above average in ground school. Excellent type. Gold worker and keenly interested. Commission material."

    Course at No.1 GRS was 28 December 1942 to 26 February 1943. Flew Anson aircraft (42 hours 35 minutes, all by day). Courses and marks as follows: D.R. Navigation Intermediate (97/100), D.R. Navigation Final (267/300), D.R. Navigation Airwork (246/300), Reconnaissance (171/200), Reconnaissance airwork (83/100), Compasses and Instruments (136/200), Meteorology (136/200), Signals (84/100), Coding (79/100), Ship Recognition (176/200), Photography (80/100), Visual Signals (Pass). Described by Course Instructor (F/L J.W. Hoodley ?) as follows: “A very intelligent, keen and conscientious pupil. His work both in the air and on the ground has been consistently above average. He is a very steady, dependable type, not inclined to lose control in a crisis.” To this the Chief Flying Instructor (W/C Reynell ?) added, “Keen, solid and reliable pupil. Should prove very useful in a G.R. Squadron.”

    Accident Overseas: At 1620 hours, 8 October 1943, St. Eval (No.224 Squadron, Liberator BZ790). Engaged on non-operational duty (compass swinging). At the time he reported 230 hours on Liberators and 420 on all types. His report stated:

    When throttles pulled right back aircraft seemed to have tendency to float and so stick was also pulled right back in attempt to check this. Landed on wrong three points - damaging tail skid. Ceiling 600 feet and visibility poor enough so that small circuit had to be made to keep runway in view. Wind was 12 m.p.h. and downwind to runway. Runway was changed (No.6 to No.2) immediately after landing - this floating of aircraft plausible.

    The Commanding Officer of No.224 Squadron (W/C A.E. Clouston) wrote:

    Under the circumstances, a young captain at the controls, and considering the low cloud height with hills behind the drome in cloud I consider the pilot did well in landing at St. Eval. The fact the tail skid touched is no fault of the captain but due to the lightly loaded Liberator and C.G. position.

    Particulars of death: Liberator BZ942 was airborne from St. Eval, 2139 hours, 6 June 1944 to conduct an anti-submarine patrol in the English Channel. No message was received and nothing more was heard of the aircraft. Crew were J21435 F/O E. Allen, DFC (pilot), J85506 P/O M.E. Hayward (second pilot), Aus 401371 F/L W.J. Eskler (RAAF, navigator), 53447 P/O H.E. Pugsley (navigator), 48957 F/O L.R. Aust, DFC, DFM (WOP/Air), 1104418 Warrant Officer H. McIllaney (WOP/Air), 1213956 Sergeant D.E. Froggatt (WOP/Air), 1596602 Sergeant A. McLaughlin (air gunner), 1826970 Sergeant J.B.C. Gray (air gunner) and 2207636 Sergeant A.H. Croft (flight engineer).

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    Many thanks for that information, Hugh.

    Cheers,

    Mark

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