Operation: Convoy patrol
Date: 12th July 1940 (Friday)
Unit: No. 151 Squadron (/motto: Foy pour devoir - 'Fidelity unto duty') 11 Group
Type: Hurricane I
Base: RAF North Weald, Essex
Location: North Sea
Pilot: F/O. James Henry Leslie Allen 39957 RAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 08:35 hrs o protect Convoy Booty when an attack by German aircraft was imminent. An engagement developed about 20 miles east of Orford Ness. F/O. Allen was caught in an intense cross-fire and his Hurricane was last seen gliding down with a dead engine at 09:|45 hrs.
Another pilot circled the area, but with no trace of the pilot he returned to North Weald. F/O. Allen is believed to have drowned.
Burial and personal details:
F/O. James Henry Leslie Allen. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 5. Born 13 November 1914 at Remuera, Auckland. Served in the Merchant Navy prior to joining the RAF. Selected fo a short service commission in the RAF on 24th May 1937. Awarded pilots badge November 1937. Joined 151 Squadron on the 11th February 1939. On the 16th May 1940 was one of a number of pilots of 151 sent to France to reinforce 87 Squadron. Wounded three days later and sent back to England. Son of James Henry Leslie and Katherine Paretio Allen (née Swinton) his parents both died in the flu pandemic, mother age 27 in 1917 and father age 34 in 1918, nephew and ward of Fanny M. Edwards, of Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. Awarded King's Gold Medal, H.M.S. Conway, 1933. Completed at least 49 operational sorties. Credited with 1 shared enemy aircraft destroyed and 1 other probabley destroyed.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: