Accounts of actions leading to award of Conspicuous Gallantry medal and other congratulatory material

SAllenDJ1880966v10011.jpg

Title

Accounts of actions leading to award of Conspicuous Gallantry medal and other congratulatory material

Description

At the top a postagram congratulating Derrick Allen on his award of Conspicuous Gallantry Medal signed A T Harris. Six newspaper cuttings giving various accounts of actions in releasing rear gunner from jammed turret while Lancaster dives out of control. One cutting noting that Derrick Allen volunteered for the RAF and has been accepted for aircrew; another congratulating him on gaining his majority; a further cutting announces his engagement.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1945-01-26

Contributor

Steve Baldwin

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

One telegram and nine newspaper cuttings mounted on an album page

Language

Type

Identifier

SAllenDJ1880966v10011

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

[underlined] POSTAGRAM [/underlined]
Originator’s Reference Number:-
BC/S.23191/P.
To: 1880966 Sergeant D.J. ALLEN,
No. 467 Squadron,
R.A.F. Station, WADDINGTON.
Date:-
26th January, 1945.
From: The Commander-in-Chief, Bomber Command.

My warmest congratulations on the award of your Conspicuous Gallantry Medal.
A.T. Harris
[underlined] Air Chief Marshal. [/underlined]

[inserted Paper Cutting]
Mr. D. J. ALLEN, R.A.F., the second son of The Council Houses, Stilton, volunteered for the R.A.F. and has been passed for flying crews. His many friends wish him the best of luck.

[inserted Paper Cutting]
SERGT. AIR GUNNER DERRICK ALLEN, R.A.F., now stationed at Waddington, Lincoln, has the immediate award of the Conspicuous Galantry [sic] Medal. He is the second son of Mr. J. S. Allen, of the Council Houses, Stilton. This is his second promotion.

[inserted Paper Cutting]
The Engagement is announced between Lavinia, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. Colbert, Ermine Lodge, Stilton, and Flt./Sergt. D. J. Allen, C.G.M., second son of the Late Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Allen, Stilton.

[inserted Paper Cutting]
COMING-OF-AGE
ALLEN. – Congratulations and best wishes to Derrick on attaining his majority, October 13th 1945. - Love, Lavinia.

[inserted Paper Cutting]
Gallantry in Blazing Plane.
Rescued Trapped Comrade
Local Airman Awarded C.G.M.
THIS is what happened to Sgt. Derrick J. Allen, R.A.F.V.R., 467 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron, of Peterborough, one night last November when he was mid-upper gunner aboard a bomber which attacked Dusseldorf.
During the operation the aircraft was attacked by a fighter and was hit by bursts of machine-gun fire. A second attack followed and again the aircraft was hit, the port outer engine catching fire. All efforts to extinguish the flames were unavailing and the machine dived out of control. The captain ordered his crew to “abandon aircraft.” but the rear gunner was unable to open his turret doors. Completely disregarding his own safety, Sgt. Allen promptly went to then assistance of his comrade. The aircraft was on fire and falling rapidly, nevertheless, Sgt. Allen hacked away with an axe at the turret doors and finally succeeded in freeing the rear gunner.
Just as Sgt. Allen got ready to jump the aircraft broke in two. He fell clear, pulled the rip-cord of his parachute and descended safely.
CONSPICUOUS GALLANTRY MEDAL.
The full story of this exploit is told for the first time this week in an Air Ministry communication which reveals that Sgt. Allen has now been awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Metal. The citation describes him as a gallant airman who, in the face of extreme danger, displayed conduct in keeping with the best traditions of the Royal Air Force.
Sgt. Allen was born in 1924 at Peterborough and before enlisting in 1943 was a carpenter.

[inserted Paper Cutting]
Mid-Air Rescue In Blazing Plane
AN R.A.F.V.R. sergeant who freed a comrade trapped in the rear-gunner’s turret while their blazing aircraft was falling rapidly and jumped to safety just as the plane broke in two, has been awarded the conspicuous gallantry medal. He is Sergeant Derrick John Allen, whose home is near Peterborough.
Allen was the mid-upper gunner in an aircraft detailed to attach Dusseldorf. The plane was struck by a burst of machine-gun fire from an enemy aircraft and one of the engines caught fire.
The crew struggled to put out the flames but the plane lost height and dived out of control. As the position had become hopeless, the captain ordered his crew to abandon the aircraft.
The rear gunner was unable to open his turret doors and Allen, ignored the danger, hacked away at the doors with an axe and freed the gunner. Just as Allen got ready to jump, the plane broke in two, but he managed to make a safe descent.

[inserted Paper Cutting]
Plane On Fire, Saved Comrade
Award to Gunner
An R.A.F.V.R. sergeant who freed a comrade trapped in the rear-gunner’s turret while their blazing was falling rapidly and jumped to safety just as the plane broke in two has been awarded the Conspicuous Galantry [sic] Medal. He is Sgt. Derrick John Allen, whose home is near Peterborough.
Allen was the mid-upper gunner in an aircraft detailed to attack Dusseldorf. The plane was struck by a burst of machine-gun fire from an enemy aircraft and one of the engines caught fire.
The crew struggled to put out the flames, but the plane lost height and dived out of control. As the position had become hopeless, the captain ordered his crew to abandon the aircraft.
The rear-gunner was unable to open his turret doors and Allen, ignored the danger, hacked away at the turret doors with an axe and freed the gunner. Just as Allen got ready to jump, the plane broke in two, but he managed to make a safe descent.

[inserted Paper Cutting]
CITY AIRMAN’S C.G.M.
Sgt. Derrick J. Allen, R.A.F.V.R, of No. 467 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron, a former Peterborough carpenter, has been awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal.
He stayed behind in a blazing bomber to free a trapped comrade, and was still in the aircraft when it broke in two. He fell clear and landed by parachute. He fell clear and landed by parachute. He was mid-upper gunner aboard a bomber which attacked Dusseldorf one night in November, when the plane was attacked by an enemy fighter and set on fire.
With complete disregard for his own safety, Sgt. Allen promptly went to the assistance of a comrade. “The aircraft was now on fire and falling rapidly”, says the official report. “Nevertheless, this gallant airman hacked away at the turret doors with an axe and finally succeeded in freeing his comrade. Just as Sgt. Allen got ready to jump, the aircraft broke in two. He fell clear, however, pulled the rip cord of his parachute and descended safely. In the face of extreme danger this airman displayed conduct in keeping with the best traditions of the Royal Air Force.”
Sgt. Allen was born at Peterborough in 1924, and now lives in the district. He enlisted in the R.A.F. in 1943.

[inserted Paper Cutting]
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying)
Sgt. D. J. ALLEN, R.A.F.V.R. No. 467 (R.A.A.F.) Sqn. – This airman was the mid-upper gunner in an aircraft detailed to attack Dusseldorf one night in November, 1944. During the operation the aircraft was attacked by a fighter. Sgt. Allen opened fire, but the enemy aircraft closed in and the bomber was struck by a burst of machine gun fire which caused much damage. A second attack followed and again the aircraft was hit. The port outer engine caught fire. All efforts to extinguish the flames were unavailing. Later, the aircraft lost height and then dived out of control. The position became hopeless and the captain ordered his crew to abandon aircraft. The rear gunner was unable to open his turret doors and was trapped. With complete disregard for his own safety, Sgt. Allen promptly went to the assistance of his comrade. The aircraft was now on fire and falling rapidly. Nevertheless, this gallant airman hacked away at the turret doors with an axe and finally succeeded in freeing his comrade. Just as Sgt. Allen got ready to jump, the aircraft broke in two. He fell clear, however, pulled the rip cord of his parachute and descended safely. In the face of extreme danger this airman displaying conduct in keeping with the best traditions of the Royal Air Force.

Collection

Citation

“Accounts of actions leading to award of Conspicuous Gallantry medal and other congratulatory material,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed November 21, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/2357.

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