ERIC ALLEN, JR., LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Eric Allen, Jr. '38

Date of birth: July 22, 1916

Date of death: December 7, 1941

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:

Loss

From Find A Grave:

Son of Rev. Eric Allen, Sr. who resided in Manchester, Vermont during the war.

Eric served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade and pilot of a F4F 6-F-12 Wildcat, Fighter Squadron Six, U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6), U.S. Navy during World War II.

He resided in Fairfield County, Connecticut prior to the war.

During the attack on Pearl Harbor the Enterprise, which was not at Pearl Harbor, dispatched a force of Six Wildcats which escorted a strike force consisting of 18 Torpedo Six TBDs, and six VB-6 Dauntlesses fitted with smoke generators to mask the TBDs as they approached their targets. Their mission was to locate Japanese Aircraft carriers that had launched the attack on Pearl and engage them.

Unable to locate the Japanese the 18 Torpedo Six TBDs and the six VB-6 Dauntlesses were told to return to the Enterprise. The six Wildcats were directed to continue on to Pearl Harbor and render any assistance as necessary.

As the 6 Wildcats approached Hickam Field near Pearl Harbor their arrival there triggered a panic, even though the message of their arrival was repeatedly broadcast, and they were fired upon by ground anti-aircraft fire.

ENS Herbert H. Menges immediately fell victim to the anti-aircraft fire and crashed. He has since been noted as the first Naval fighter pilot to die during World War II.

LTJG France F. Hebel's fighter was shot down next and crashed near Wheeler Field. He had suffered a skull fracture during the crash and died.

LTJG Eric Allen, Jr., after being shot while still in his aircraft, bailed out at a low altitude over Pearl Harbor and suffered internal injuries. He landed in the oily water near the mindsweeper Vireo (AM-52) and later succumbed to his injuries.

ENS James Daniels was the only one of the six airmen to land on an airfield proper (Ford Island Naval Air Station).

ENS Gayle Hermann set down on a small golf course on Ford Island.

ENS David Flynn's F4F apparently ran out of fuel, forcing him to parachute into a cane field near Barbers Point.

With a loss of three pilots and four aircraft, 7 December 1941 saw VF-6's worst casualties through June 1942.

Eric was originally interred in the Halawa Naval Cemetery, Oahu and was later re-interred here on January 26, 1949.

Service # O-081275

From Pacific Aviation Museum:

Allen was hit immediately. He bailed out, but was hit by a .50-caliber shell on the way down, his parachute only partially opened. Allen swam through oily water to minesweeper Vireo (AM-52), but died of severe wounds the next day.

Eric's father was listed as next of kin.

Career

From naval aviation historian Richard Leonard via email on February 9, 2018:

  • NAS Pensacola attached for HTA flight training, 8/12/1940
  • NAS Pensacola designated NA # 7078, 1/29/1941
  • Date of rank LTJG from 1 Jul 1941 USN Register, 6/2/1941
  • VF-6 USS Enterprise (CV-6) WFF (died 8 Dec 41), 12/7/1941

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1938

Ensign, USS Trenton


Others at this command:

January 1939

Ensign, USS Trenton


Others at this command:

October 1939

Ensign, USS Trenton


Others at this command:

June 1940

Ensign, USS Trenton


Others at this command:

November 1940

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida


Others at this command:

April 1941

Ensign, Fighting Squadron (VF) 5, USS Yorktown


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at USS Yorktown:

LTjg Charles Ware '34 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 5)
LTjg Stuart Stephens '34 (USS Yorktown)
LTjg Milton Ricketts '35 (USS Yorktown)
LTjg John Powers '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 5)
LTjg Samuel Adams '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 5)
LTjg Jack Moore '36 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 5)
ENS John Black '38 (Carrier Division 2)
ENS Keene Hammond '38 (Carrier Division 2)
ENS Andrew Gardner '39 (USS Yorktown)
ENS Donald Scheu '40 (USS Yorktown)


Class of 1938

Eric is one of 72 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.