Last Known Activity
According to NARA records, Johnny E. Allen was born in 1919 in Florida. Census data reveals his parents were Arthur L. and Bessie Allen. Both the US censuses 1920 and 1930 show the family residing in Lakeland, Florida.
Allen enlisted on July 16, 1940 in Jacksonville, Florida, and requested assignment to the Medical Corps. His enlistment papers state he had completed 2 years of high school, and was employed as a semi-skilled driver or chauffeur.
It is not known if he served in the Medical Corps or not, but in 1944, he was in the Army Air Forces and stationed with a bomber unit in Italy. On July 26, 1944, a "make-up" crew was assembled and sent to bomb the aircraft engine factory at Weiner-Neudorf, Austria.
As the formation crossed the Alps, the weather conditions worsened, and a Recall was sent to the formation. For some reason, the planes of the 301st Bomb Group did not get the message, so continued their mission, although the fighter escort turned back.
Approaching the target area, the unprotected bombers were attacked by enemy aircraft, losing 11 of the 38. The aircraft of Allen was set ablaze, then exploded. Five crew members reached land safely under parachutes; the remaining were killed. The wreckage fell near Saint Jakob im Walde, Austria.
The survivors were made prisoners, and the dead were buried in a local cemetery. They were retrieved after the war, and buried in various cemeteries. SSgt Allen was buried in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, in a common grave with two other crew members. The grave(s) stand in Section 84, Site 126-129 of the cemetery.
NARA Enlistment Records
SSgt Johnny E. Allen was acting as flight engineer/top turret gunner on B-17F #42-3157, named "Laura," assigned to the 32nd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 7138 was issued for this loss. Mission loading lists show the crew as:
2 Lt Leo J. McDonald p
2 Lt Kenneth Kai-Kee c-p
2 Lt Thomas J. Steed nav
2 Lt Richard C. Winsor bomb
SSgt Johnny E. Allen eng/tt gun
SSgt William W. Brainard r/o
Sgt Edward S. Forys btg
SSgt Edward M. Shallcross wg
SSgt William A. Tate wg
SSgt William M. Jameson tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.