Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Charles E Allen


Mid air collision 31 August 1943 in B-17 #42-29816 'The Eager Beaver. ' Plane crashed into Channel. Returned to base. Mr. Allen lived through the most harrowing experience in the history of the group. He was a husky, 20 year old Indiana boy with a sparce blonde moustache. On his 16th raid he was riding in the tail gun compartment when crossing the channel there was a terrific mid-air crash. The tail assembly was completely detached from the rest of the shop and began tumbling down like a falling leaf. Both doors through which Allen could escape were blocked, yet today his is alive, the 'Eager Beaver''s only survivor.

Awards: PH, WWII Victory, EAME.


Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 401st Bomb Squadron


  • 42-29816 'The Eager Beaver'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 22/2/43; Salina 3/3/43; Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-K] Bassingbourn 19/4/43; Missing in Action Amiens Glisy 31/8/43 with Buster Peek, Co-pilot: Bill Edwards, Navigator: Merlen Crist, Bombardier: Roger Fuller, Flight engineer/top turret...

Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents ( , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...


Event Location Date
Lived in Indiana, USA 1941
Returned (RTD) English Channel 31 August 1943

Slightly wounded, survived mid air collision on his 16th combat mission. Rescued from English channel by ASR.


Date Contributor Update
12 February 2017 15:02:23 Al_Skiff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, unit associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:05:33 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 671 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database