Wednesday, November 6, 2013
World War II Air Ace Buried In an Unmarked Grave
From the Feb. 12, 2012, U.K. Telegram "World War II: air ace in an unmarked grave."
The remains of Flying Officer Derek Allen was found after being in an unmarked grave for 71 years. Over an eight-day stretch when he was 22-years-old, he was shot down twice and credited with four outright and three shared enemy kills.
He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for shooting down a German bomber that was wreaking havoc on Allied forces during the Battle of France in May 1940.
One day, his Hurricane fighter plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. He bailed out and spent 24-hours walking through enemy-held territory to get to Allied lines. He went into battle two days later, but his plane was shot down again in northern France and this time he was killed. He was listed as MIA and presumed KIA.
Recently, Andy Saunders began researching on Flying Officer Derek Allen and discovered that a Hurricane plane had crashed the same day that Allen disappeared. His body was removed May 18th and buried in an unmarked grave in the village of Poix-de-Nord, near Cambra.
Some 40,000 RAF personnel were unaccounted for at the end of the war.
Let's Hope the Grave Is Now Marked, Or, Even Better, Moved Back to Britain. --GreGen
Follow Up from the 2-16-12 History Channel. Derek Allen's younger brother, Richard, now 81, will lead his family to his grave for a dedication.