Last Known Activity
No NARA enlistment record for Homer R. Allen has been located, nor has any narrative of his early childhood. His remembrance marker states he was born in 1919. Judging by his rank and dates of assignment, it can be assumed he enlisted in late 1941 or early 1942.
His first appearance in the military record is his assignment on July 26, 1942 as a member of the original crew of Captain William H. Breed of the 360th Bomb Squadron, training for deployment overseas. The crew deployed, flying their aircraft, in October, 1942.
Lt. Allen flew 4 credited missions, all with the Breed crew. On February 16, 1943, this crew was selected as part of a bombing raid on Nazi war facilities at Brest and St. Nazaire, France. En route to target, moderate flak was encountered, but the formation was soon engaged by approximately 20-50 enemy fighters that made multiple passes.
Breed's aircraft was severely damaged, so he aborted and turned toward England. But an enemy fighter shot the aircraft down, forcing Breed to ditch in the English Channel, north of the Brest Peninsula. All crew members perished.
Lt Allen, as well as all other members of the crew, is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at Brittany Cemetery in St. James, France. There is also a remembrance marker for Lt Allen in the Ivy Lawn Cemetery in Ventura, California. This stone stands at Section F, Plot 7, Grave 6.
Lt Homer R. Allen was the navigator aboard the B-17F #42-2967, nicknamed "Shak Hak," and assigned to the 360th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 15116 and mission loading lists identifies the complete crew as composed of:
Cptn William H. Breed p
2 Lt Harry T. Samples, Jr. c-p
2 lt Homer R. Allen nav
2 Lt Homer N. Santerre bomb
TSgt Stabley Putala eng/tt gun
TSgt Joseph M. Herbert r/o
SSgt Mathias A. Kuffel btg
SSgt Roy C. Loken lwg
Sgt Michael J. Halpin rwg
SSgt James H. Lentz tail gun
In the crew photo, Lt Allen is in the back row, third from left.
Feldweber Schroder and Leutnant Kluk of 2/NagrJ3 both claimed credit for shooting down this aircraft. Both claims were rejected by the German authorities.