Sixfox sent me an email today. Pace Allen hit the silk somewhere over France in late ’44 or in early ’45. Sixfox is looking for an official record documenting this to pass on to one of Allen’s friends.
The reason I say late ’44 or early ’45 is because Allen tells his friend that he bailed from an A26. This plane did not enter service in Europe until late November of ’44. The 409th moved to Bretigny, France, in September of ’44 and flew a few missions in the A20 Havocs before the A26 arrived. So if Allen bailed from an A26 it was when he was at Bretigny and after the A26s were transitioned into service.
I have examined the 409th history book and have yet to find Pace Allen listed anywhere therein. Now I haven’t spoken with Sixfox, but she seems to think Allen served in the 642nd. I’d say if Sixfox says it, then it probably is right.
What we are looking for is some kind of an official record documenting Pace Allen’s jump. His friend would like to have this information in order to have Allen inducted into the Caterpillar Club, an organization that recognizes those whose lives were saved by a parachute. Apparently this organization is asking Allen’s friend for some documentation corroborating Allen’s account.
Allen says he does not have documentation. He just remembers that he bailed out of an A26, landed among friendly forces, and broke his leg in the process. But according to the Caterpillar Club authorities, memory is not enough to become a member.
I have yet to find anything in the 409th history book about Allen’s incident. If anyone reading this has a memory or a written record of Allen’s parachute jump, please get in contact with me or Sixfox. We need to know so we can pass this informaltion on.
Hope all in the 409th are well and having a good time. Me and the wife certainly are. Take care and talk to you soon.