Last Known Activity
Donald H. Allwine was born in Omaha, Nebraska on May 29, 1922, a son of George H. and Jessie Allwine. Both the US Censuses 1930 and 1940 list the family as residing in Omaha. Allwine graduated from Technical High School in 1941, and worked for the P.F. Peterson Baking Company until he was drafted in 1942.
He was assigned to the Army Air Forces, and trained as an airborne radio operator. After this training, he was assigned to a crew, and spent crew training in various states, including Colorado, Utah, Texas, and Tennessee. The crew deployed to England, ferrying a new B-17. They arrived at Thorpe-Abbots in October, 1943.
The crew flew its first combat mission on November 3, 1943. This was a raid on the facilities at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. On November 5, 1943, the crew was assigned to attack the synthetic oil plants at Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
As the aircraft neared the target area, it was hit by flak. One engine, the compass, and the electrical system were destroyed. The bombardier salvoed the bombs to prevent an explosion, and the pilot turned onto a reverse course to England. He then ordered bail out, but only two crewmen could do so.
They reached the ground safely, and with the aid of French patriots, evaded until August, 1944, when they were returned to England. The remainder of the crew vanished with the aircraft - presumably crashing in the English Channel. No recovery was made of remains, and all airmen are remembered on the Walls of the Missing in the Cambridge American Cemetery in England.
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
State Journal (NE), issue of December 14, 1943
Omaha World (NE) Herald, issue of May 26, 1945
Lincoln (NE) Star, issue of December 13, 1943
SSgt Donald H. Allwine was performing duty as the radio operator on B-17G # 42-37748, unnamed, assigned to the 418th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 1156 pertains to this loss. Crew rosters show the crew as:
2 Lt Thomas R. Martin p
2 Lt James A. Kennemer c-p
2 Lt James W. McCorley nav
2 Lt Joseph P. Murphy bomb
Sgt Lloyd B. Arnett eng/tt gun
SSgt Donald H. Allwine r/o
Sgt Cosmos J. Braun, Jr. btg
Sgt David M. Davis wg
Sgt Merritt K. Gillespie wg
Sgt Laverne E. Clarke tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Lts McCorley and Murphy survived.
"Cosmos" Braun's name was actually "Cosmas."
In the crew photo, Allwine is in the back row, 3rd from left.
Service photo source: