|Birth: ||Jun. 29, 1925|
|Death: ||Jun. 6, 1944, At Sea|
Sergeant Harold Oliver Allensworth, Army serial number 38541748, was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on June 29, 1925. His parents were Oliver Armstrong Allensworth (14 Nov 1898 21 Apr 1989) and Ara Velma (Cheek) Allensworth (9 Dec 1907 8 Dec 1987), who were married at McClain County, Oklahoma, on October 12, 1923. He had a younger brother, Bill Allensworth (abt 1932 unk). By April 1940 the family lived at 5910 Schuler Street, Houston, Harris County, Texas, and his father worked as a welder. He completed four years of high school, and was single, without dependents, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army at Houston, Texas, on August 10, 1943. His home of record was 326 Bob Street, Houston, Texas, his mother's address in 1944.
He completed Army Air Forces aerial gunnery training, and was assigned as ball turret gunner on the heavy bomber crew of Lt Norman E. Gross. By December 1943 the Gross crew began B-24 crew training at Davis-Monthan Field near Tucson, Arizona. In January 1944 the Gross crew was assigned to the 838th Bomb Squadron of the 487th Bomb Group at Alamogordo Army Air Base, New Mexico, where it completed B-24 combat crew training. The 487th Bomb Group deployed to England in March 1944. Sgt Allensworth is not listed in the deployment order that directed the air echelon of the Group to fly to England. He probably traveled overseas with the ground echelon of the Group on the troop ship Duchess of Bedford, and arrived in England in mid-April 1944. The 487th Bomb Group was based at Army Air Forces Station 137, near the village of Lavenham, Suffolk, England, and was part of the 8th U.S. Army Air Force in Europe.
Here is the roster of the Norman E. Gross crew on June 6, 1944:
B-24H 42-52629 838th Bomb Squadron
Gross, Norman E 1/Lt Pilot MIA
Haskell, Willard D 2/Lt Copilot MIA
Moke, Francis E 2/Lt Navigator MIA
Levine, Milton F/O Bombardier Buried at Sea
Huebel Jr, Benjamin A S/Sgt Engineer MIA
Markowitz, Max I S/Sgt Radio Operator MIA
McWilliams, Charles A Sgt Nose Gunner MIA
Benson, Stanley J Sgt Top Gunner MIA
Allensworth, Harold O Sgt Ball Gunner MIA
Westhoff Jr, Henry B S/Sgt Tail Gunner MIA
In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, the 487th Bomb Group dispatched two Squadrons on the first of three missions that the Group flew on D-Day. The Gross crew flew B-24H 42-52629 Sweatin' It Out on this mission. The 487th Bomb Group was assigned to bomb a choke pointa road junctionin Caen, France, to disrupt German transportation. The Group's assembly in the dark over England took five hours, much longer than planned. Then a complete undercast prevented the crews from bombing the target. On the return, the entire heavy bomber force was routed away from the Allied shipping area, to the west of the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey. Sgt Allensworth and his nine crew mates went missing in action when their aircraft ran out of fuel and went down in the English Channel. A station at Saffron Walden, England, received a distress call from the crew at 0842, which indicated that the aircraft was about 35 miles northwest of the Cherbourg Peninsula, and all four engines were dead. The aircraft's last reported position was 49°52'N, 02°38'W, some 20 to 25 miles northwest of the Channel Island of Alderney. Other crews almost ran out of fuel before landing at bases near the English coast.
The remains of Flight Officer Levine, the bombardier, were found by the crew of the British ship HSL 192 (High Speed Launch 192) and were buried at sea, in the English Channel, on July 3, 1944. None of the other crew members was ever found.
Sgt Allensworth is memorialized along with his five enlisted crew mates on the Wall of the Missing at Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. The four officers are memorialized on the Wall of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery near Madingley, England.
1. 487th Bomb Group Association
2. 1940 US Census; Texas; Harris County; Houston; 5910 Schuler. Allensworth, Oliver. 20 Apr 1940 (father of Harold O. Allensworth)
3. Allensworth, Bob. Personal Communication. Jul 2013 (nephew of Harold O. Allensworth)
4. American Battle Monuments Commission
5. de Jong, Ivo. The History of the 487th Bomb Group (H). Paducah KY: Turner Publishing, Oct 2004
6. Enlistment Record of Harold O. Allensworth
7. HQ, U.S. Army Air Forces. Sunday Punch in Normandy: The Tactical Use of Heavy Bombardment in the Normandy Invasion (new imprint by the Center for Air Force History Wings at War Series, No. 2. Washington, D.C. 1992)
8. Social Security Death Index
9. Texas Death Records
10. U.S. Army Air Forces Missing Air Crew Report 5484
11. U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). Service Personnel Not Recovered Following World War II
12. U.S. Department of the Army, Adjutant General Office, Technical Records Section. Individual Deceased Personnel File of Milton Levine, T-123014 (aka '293 File')
13. U.S. War Department. World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel. Washington, D.C., June 1946
Secretary, 487th Bomb Group Association
Find A Grave member ID 47577572
Wall of the Missing:
ALLENSWORTH HAROLD O SGT 838 BOMB SQ 487 BOMB GP (H) TEXAS
Note: Entered the service from Texas.
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
Departement du Calvados
Maintained by: Paul Webber
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56641800