9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Pfc. Byron Kidd Allen

Photographer,  17071355

Killed In Action - Jul 5, 1944

4th Combat Camera Unit


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      Born: 12-Jun-1924, Portland, Plymouth County, Iowa

Entered Military Service: Date: 13-Nov-1942 At: Camp Dodge, Herrold, IA From: Plymouth County, Iowa
NARA Enlistment Record: Enlisted Serial # 17071355

Buried: Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Plot A Row 4 Grave 4

On-line Memorials:
National World War II Registry     Overseas American Cemeteries
American Battle Monuments Commission Memorial, Certificate

Pvt. Byron Kidd Allen (Died 1944)

Posted By: Linda Ziemann, volunteer

Parents Notified By War Department

Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Allen of Akron received word Tuesday evening from the War Department that their son, Private First Class Byron K. Allen, an aerial gunner and a combat photographer, had been killed in England, Sunday, July 5, 1944.

Private Allen was a graduate of the Akron public schools and entered the Army Air Forces November 13, 1942. He attended photography school at Lowry Field, Colo., and was then sent to Culver City, California, where he was assigned to the picture unit of the Army Air Forces. In November 1943, he went to England and served with a troop carrying glider unit.

~Transcriber Note: In 1944, July 5 was not on a Sunday. I found another documentation that states this soldier was killed on 7-06-1944 in England and the 6th was not a Sunday either. See below another news article about his death and the day he died.
His tombstone photo in the UK states that he died 05 Jul 1944.
LeMars Globe-Post
July 24, 1944

Killed In Action July 5 in England After Being Cited for Work

Akron Register-Tribune: The entire community was grieved and saddened by the shocking news that came to Mr. and Mrs. Ernest L. Allen of this city, Tuesday afternoon of the death of their son, Pvt. Byron K. Allen, while serving as an aerial gunner and combat photographer, with the U. S. 9th Air force in the European theater. The sad news came in the shape of a telegram from the War Department at Washington D.C., directed to his mother, which read as follows:

Washington D.C., July 18, 1944
Mrs. Emma N. Allen:
The Secretary of War desires me to express his deep regret that your son, Private Byron K. Allen, was killed in action on five July in England. Letter following. ULIO, The Adjutant General

(Last Monday The Globe-Post printed a story from the 9th air force command, telling of Pfc. Allenís work as an aerial gunner and combat photographer.)

Mr. and Mrs. Allen have the deep and profound sympathy of the community in the great sorrow that has come to them in the loss of their son. He was one of Akronís finest young men. During his youth he was a regular attendant at the Baptist church and Sunday school and he completed the course in the Akron public school, graduating with the Class of 1942. Of clean, upright character, studious and sincere of purpose, he had made a success of all his efforts in the brief span of life allotted to him. He enlisted in the service of his country in an unusual, interesting and important branch, aerial photography, and he was making good at that when so suddenly called upon to make the supreme sacrifice for his country and in the great allied cause. His death will add another gold star to the list on Akronís honor roll. A little later on this community will honor Pvt. Byron Allen at a memorial service to be held in the Baptist church.

Extracted from Pvt. Byron Kidd Allen (Died 1944)

Something different! This time, the cameramen get their picture taken. Beside the
Douglas A-20 "Pawhuska Princess", combat photographers in the above photo are, left
to right, Sgt. Robert A. Wolber, Utica, N.Y., S/Sgt. Lane B. Kemper, Omaha, Nebraska,
Pfc. Byron K. Allen, Adron [Akron], Iowa, S/Sgt. Arthur E. Mayhew, Bovina Center, N.Y., 2nd
Lt. George E. Lindsay
, Lakeside, California.
(Photo from Fold3.com)

Private First Class Byron K. Allen, Photographer with the 4th Combat Camera Unit, was riding as a crew member of Captain C.R. Jackson's aircraft on Mission 90 against the German Noball Headquarters at Merlemont, France to photograph the mission.

Captain Jackson's aircraft was hit in the left engine by flak after the bomb run and he was unable to feather the propeller, causing him difficulty controlling the ship. Captain Jackson knew he had to crash-land the aircraft so he gave the crew the warning that they could bail out, which Private Allen did. However, PFC Allen's parachute failed to open, and he was instantly killed upon striking the ground.

Private Allen is buried in Cambridge UK at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial. (plot A, row 4, grave 4).

Online Byron K. Allen Obituary
(PDF Version)

Captain Jackson nursed his badly damaged plane back to Southern England where he crash landed. One of his gunners, Private First Class Byron K. Allen [of the 4th Combat Camera Unit], bailed out of the stricken plane over the U.K; he was killed when his parachute failed to open from 1,000 feet. He was buried in the Cambridge American Military Cemetery in Cambridge, England.
(416th BG History 1944)

The left engine of Capt Jackson's ship was hit by flak as the plane turned off the target, and it was put out of commission. The damage was such that feathering the left propeller was impossible, and the engine finally "froze" due to loss of oil. With the propeller frozen in a flat position, Capt Jackson experienced difficulty controlling the aircraft and lost approximately 30 miles per hour speed. Approaching Lydd, Kent, England the ship was down to an altitude of 1,000 feet. Capt Jackson gave the crew the warning that they could bail out, as he was going to crash land the ship. Only one member decided not to ride out the ship, PFC Byron K. Allen, a member of the 4th Combat Camera Unit riding with the crew to take pictures of the mission, left the ship, but his parachute failed to open sufficiently at such a low altitude, and he was instantly killed upon striking the ground. The aircraft was losing altitude at an extremely fast rate and it became necessary to put it down on the first available resemblance of an airfield. With exceptional skill Capt Jackson crashlanded on an abandoned RAF field without further injury to his crew. The ship came to a stop and the crew got out, only to be greeted by a hail of 50 calibre bullets from a Spitfire overhead shooting at a passing buzz bomb.
("670th Bombardment Squadron (L) History")

General Orders No. 125, 12 July 1944, Purple Heart is awarded to: 670th Bombardment Squadron (L), Alfred H. Maltby, O-747669, Second Lieutenant, Air Corps, United States Army. For wounds received in action against an enemy of the United States on 5 July 1944, while serving as Bombardier-Navigator on an A-20 airplane on a combat operational mission over enemy occupied territory. Entered military service at Hastings, Florida.
(416th BG Purple Heart Awards (PDF))

See also No_Report and Mission # 90

Photos and Documents
Newspaper Clipping
Headstone Inscription and Interment Record
WW II Service Compensation Application
WW II Service Compensation Application
WW II Service Compensation Application
WW II Service Compensation Application
Rosters Of WW II Dead
WW II Army and Army Air Force Casualty List
National World War II Memorial Registry
National World War II Memorial Registry
American Battle Monuments Commission Certificate

Source information can be viewed at WWII Military Service Fatalities Sources