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Lee "L. V." Allen

 

Date and Place of Birth: April 15, 1916 Fort Worth, TX
Date and Place of Death:    December 31, 1943 off coast of Carcan, France
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Shortstop
Rank: First Lieutenant
Military Unit: 704th Bomb Squadron, 446th Bomb Group USAAF
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

Lee V. “L.V.” Allen, the son of Cadmus and Vada Allen, was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 15, 1916. He was playing sandlot baseball in his hometown when signed by the Brownsville Charros of the newly reformed Class D Texas Valley League in March 1938. The 22-year-old shortstop batted .222 (12 hits in 54 at-bats) before joining the Wink Spudders of the Class D West Texas-New Mexico League, where he hit .190 in 17 games.

That was Allen’s only experience with professional baseball. He returned to Fort Worth where he continued to play with sandlot teams and married Eppie “Jo” Allen.

With the outbreak of WWII, Allen entered service with the Army Air Force. He received his commission as a pilot on June 26, 1943, and served with the 704th Bomb Squadron, 446th Bomb Group, arriving at Bungay airfield (also known as Flixton) in Suffolk, England, in November 1943.

First Lieutenant Allen piloted a Boeing B-24H Liberator (42-7577) nicknamed “Buzz Buggy”. On December 31, 1943 – only the group’s sixth mission – “Buzz Buggy” went missing during a raid on the Luftwaffe-controlled Chateau Bernard airfield in Cognac, France. It remains unclear exactly what happened to the four-engined bomber - was it hit by flak or shot down by fighters? - but it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean about 50 miles off the coast of Carcan, southwest of Bordeaux, France. Of the crew of 10, there were no survivors. Five remain missing in action. Lee Allen’s body washed ashore further down the coast at Mimizan on January 20, 1944. Together with two of his crew members he was buried in the local cemetery before being moved to the U.S. military cemetery at Luynes, France, in June 1945.

In 1947, Allen’s wife, Jo, remarried, so his father, Cadmus, was declared his legal next of kin and chose to have his son’s body returned to the United States. Lee Allen is buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth.

Thanks to Davis O. Barker for "discovering" Lee "L. V." Allen.

Sources:
Brownsville Herald - Mar 2, 1938
Valley Morning Star - Apr 25, 1938
www.findagrave.com
www.americanairmuseum.com

Date Added June 30, 2016

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