Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Honored Allies Wednesday: Keith N. Allen (United States)

"LTC Allen was the pilot of an aircraft over NorwayCPT Schreiner, co-pilot, and 7 crew members took off from Leuchars on an operational mission to drop supplies to the underground in Norway.   After crossing the coastline in Norway, the number 1 engine began to smoke and run rough.  This condition continued until they reached the target area and released the containers.  The engine then caught fire and was feathered and the fire extinguished itself.  They decided to head for Murmansk to avoid the risk going back across the North Sea.   The plane finally crossed the mouth of the Kola inlet as the crew looked for a place to land.  Three searchlight cones of 3 each were turned on, indicating an airfield.  While turning back toward the airfield, LTC Allen, unknowingly, flew over the Russian Battleship Archangel.  During this time the Russian colors of the day were being fired from the very pistol, all lights on the plane were turned on, including the landing lights, and calls were being made on the International distress frequency.  But the battleship Archangel opened fire, along with some shore batteries, hitting engine number 2 which caught fire.  The anti-aircraft fire also shot off the left rudder and damaged the left wing.   With the plane on fire, LTC Allen ordered CPT Schreiner and the crew to bail out, advising that he would follow.   The engineer released 2 life rafts through the bomb bay.  The right waist gunner was hit by flak and bailed out, the navigator escaped through the nose wheel well after destroying the classified material and making sure the IFF was destroyed.  LTC Allen did not get out and his courageous action, at the cost of his life..."  Because of his sacrifice in supporting the Norweigen people, Allen was awarded the War Cross with Sword at war's end.

Another brave American awarded for his actions to his duty in support of an ally,
Brian & Mel

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