Allen, Robert Swinton

Date of birth:
July 24th, 1914 (Prestwich/Greater Manchester, Great Britain)
Date of death:
1982
Nationality:
British

Biography

Service number 37522.

Robert Allen Robert Allen was educated at Westfield High School, Manchester and HMS Conway.
He entered the Royal Air Force in 1935 and flew Heyfords and Whitleys with No 7 Squadron from January 1938-September 1939 and then, as a fully operational Bomber pilot, with No 49 Squadron from November 1939- October 1940. He took part in over 20 raids on German targets including the Ruhr Valley, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne and the first RAF raid on Berlin. He led No 106 Squadron in their first daylight raid to attack the battle cruiser Gneisenau in dry dock at Brest on 24 July 1941; Allen’s squadron released their bombs simultaneously over the target and despite each aircraft being repeatedly hit, returned to RAF Coningsby without casualties.
Allen commanded No 106 Squadron 1941-42 after which Guy Gibson took over. He was then posted with the RAF Mission to Chengtu, China 1943-45.
After leaving the RAF in 1956, he became a publican.

Promotions:
January 3th, 1936: Acting Pilot Officer (probation)
November 18th, 1936: Pilot Officer
May 18th, 1938: Flying Officer
February 23th, 1940: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)
? Squadron Leader
September 1st, 1942: Wing Commander (temporary)

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Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Squadron Leader
Awarded on:
June 25th, 1940
Action:
Citation:
"During a night in June, 1940, Squadron Leader Allen observed a Heinkel in and immediately gave chase. In bad weather conditions and intense darkness, he manoeuvred his aircraft in such a way as to enable Sergeant Williams, his wireless operator, air gunner, to fire a burst of 200 rounds at about twenty yards range, sending the enemy aircraft down in flames. Shortly afterwards a Junkers 87 was sighted and the same tactics were employed, causing the enemy aircraft to crash into the ground. Squadron Leader Allen then proceeded to his objective which he bombed successfully.
The initiative, outstanding skill and resolution displayed by Squadron Leader Allen coupled with the deliberation, skill and courage shown by Sergeant Williams contributed greatly to the success of these operations."
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Squadron Leader
Unit:
Royal Air Force, No. 49 Squadron (Royal Air Force, No. 49 Squadron)
Awarded on:
December 24th, 1940
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Details:
Second DFC awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DFC.
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Wing Commander
Unit:
No. 106 Squadron, Royal Air Force (No. 106 Squadron, Royal Air Force)
Awarded on:
September 2nd, 1941
Action:
Citation:
“In July, 1941, large-scale attacks were made on German warships at Brest and La Pallice (including the "Gneisenau", "Scharnhorst "and "Prinz Eugen"). A smaller attack was made on Cherbourg. The operations were carried out in daylight and extremely heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire and fighter opposition were encountered by all aircraft when approaching the targets, which at Brest was protected by a balloon barrage. The air crews engaged succeeded, nevertheless, in securing direct hits on their objectives and in inflicting very severe damage in the target area. During the combats with enemy fighters 21 hostile aircraft were destroyed and others were severely damaged. The precise timing of attack by the various formations of aircraft and their correct approach to and accurate bombing of the objectives in the face of such powerful opposition; demanded great skill and high courage. The great success of these operations was largely due to the bravery, determination and resource displayed by the following officers and airmen, who participated in various capacities as leaders and members of the aircraft crews...."
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Wing Commander
Awarded on:
February 13th, 1945
Order of the Cloud and Banner with Special Rosette (6th Class)

Sources

  • - The London Gazette Issue 34881 published on the 25 June 1940
    - The London Gazette Issue 35022 published on the 24 December 1940
    - The London Gazette Issue 35263 published on the 2 September 1941
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36937 published on the 9 February 1945
    - Imperial War Museum Collections
    - Military Art, Military Art Prints