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: ENS Edmundo Gandia '38.

January 1939

Ensign, USS Trenton

Others at this command: ENS Edmundo Gandia '38.

October 1939

Ensign, USS Trenton

Others at this command: ENS Edmundo Gandia '38 and ENS William Kornahrens '39.

June 1940

Ensign, USS Trenton

Others at this command: ENS Edmundo Gandia '38 and ENS William Kornahrens '39.

November 1940

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command: LCDR George Grove '15, CDR William Sample '19, LT Finley Hall '29, LT John Yoho '29, LT William Pennewill '29, LT Lance Massey '30, LT Albert Major, Jr. '32, LT Daniel Gothie '32, LT Dewitt Shumway '32, LT George Bellinger '32, LT John Spiers '32, LT Martin Koivisto '32, ENS Frank Peterson '33, LTjg John Phillips, Jr. '33, LTjg Charles Ware '34, LTjg Charles Brewer '34, CAPT Floyd Parks '34, LTjg Frank Whitaker '34, LTjg George Nicol '34, LTjg Philip Torrey, Jr. '34, LTjg Walker Ethridge '34, LTjg Allan Edmands '35, LTjg John Powers '35, LTjg Richard Stephenson '35, LTjg Victor Gadrow '35, LTjg Porter Maxwell '36, LTjg Roy Krogh '36, LTjg Frank Henderson, Jr. '37, LTjg John Thomas '37, LTjg John Boal '37, LTjg Richard Hughes '37, ENS Alphonse Minvielle '38, ENS Carl Holmstrom '38, ENS Charles Anderson '38, ENS Charles King '38, ENS Charles Reimann '38, ENS Curtis Howard '38, ENS Donald Smith '38, 2LT Douglas Keeler '38, ENS Edmundo Gandia '38, ENS Frank Quady '38, ENS Frank Case, Jr. '38, ENS Harry Bass '38, ENS Harry Howell '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, ENS Howard Fischer '38, ENS James Ginn '38, 2LT James Owens '38, ENS Jep Jonson '38, ENS John Kelley '38, ENS John Erickson '38, 2LT John Maclaughlin, Jr. '38, ENS John Eversole '38, ENS Leonard Thornhill '38, ENS Marion Dufilho '38, ENS Osborne Wiseman '38, ENS Oswald Zink '38, ENS Richard Crommelin '38, ENS Robert Seibels, Jr. '38, ENS Roy Green, Jr. '38, ENS Roy Hale, Jr. '38, ENS William Brady '38, ENS William Tate, Jr. '38, and ENS William Lamberson '38.

April 1941

Ensign, Fighting Squadron (VF) 5, USS Yorktown

Others at this command: LTjg John Curtis '35 and LTjg James Southerland, II '36.

Others at or embarked at USS Yorktown: LTjg Charles Ware '34 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 5), LTjg Stuart Stephens '34 (USS Yorktown), LTjg John Powers '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 5), LTjg Milton Ricketts '35 (USS Yorktown), 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), and ENS Donald Scheu '40 (USS Yorktown).


Class of 1938

Eric is one of 71 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.