ERIC ALLEN, JR., LTJG, USN
Eric Allen, Jr. '38
Date of birth: July 22, 1916
Date of death: December 7, 1941
From the 1938 Lucky Bag:
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
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.
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