Augustus Jared Allen
First Lieutenant, United States Army
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces
Service # 0-388863
39th Observation Squadron
Entered the Service from: Texas
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at East Coast Memorial
New York City, USA
NOTE: See also the remembrance for fellow crewmembers James D. Cartwright, Sergeant, United States Army, and Paul R. Stubbs, Corporal, United States Army.
64 YEARS LATER, FALLEN SOLDIER RETURNS HOME
By: LINDSAY RANDALL, Staff Writer
Courtesy of The Tyler (Texas) Morning Telegraph
6 October 2005
On June 8, 1941, just months before the United States joined World War II, an observation plane carrying Lieutenant Jared Allen of Wills Point and two fellow soldiers departed from France Field in Panama.
The plane was scheduled to land at Rio Hato, but Allen never reached his destination.
More than 50 years later, after the Army had already declared the three men's bodies unrecoverable, a Panamanian hunting in the thick forests came across the wreckage of Allen's observation plane just 20 miles north of the its destination.
"He had made that trip many times before," said June Fletcher of Houston, Allen's first cousin. "He was taking something to this little town that was nearby."
Allen was 23 years old at the time of his ill-fated final flight in service of the Army. A graduate of Texas A&M University, he is remembered by his cousin as a "sweet boy" with lots of friends and excellent grades.
Mrs. Fletcher said she didn't know whether Allen was drafted or joined the Army voluntarily, but knowing him, she believed he purposely chose to fight for his country.
"He had just finished college, he was young, and he wanted that experience," she said. "That's just my feeling."
An edition of the Wills Point Chronicle from June 13, 1941, said that after Allen's plane went missing, his mother and sister contacted Panamanian officials three times a day, but to no avail.
Mrs. Fletcher remembers her aunt being devastated, but said "she was also a very strong woman, and took care of her household and her family."
The article, written days after the plane crash, offered several theories about the whereabouts of Allen and his companions, and ended with a "sincere and prayerful hope."
"It is highly probable that Allen will return to Wills Point in the none-too-remote future and give a strange and exciting account of his long treck (sic) from jungle and insect-fested swamps."
In August 1999, an investigative team from the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii searched the wreck site of Allen's plane. Reports said the aircraft was in several large pieces, and the team collected remains and artifacts.
Three years later, a recovery team gathered additional artifacts and remains, and after extensive research and analysis, the laboratory determined the bodies were those of the three soldiers on the Rio Hato-bound observation plane.
Allen's remains were sent to his hometown, and relatives and old friends held his funeral, complete with military fanfare, at the Hiett's LyBrand Funeral Home in Wills Point.
Mrs. Fletcher said she was given an American flag to commemorate her cousin's service, and another funeral for Allen will take place at Arlington National Cemetery in several weeks.
Carolyn Long of Kaufman discovered she was Allen's second cousin after reading his obituary in a local paper.
"I was fascinated," Ms. Long said. "Not just because it was a relative, but just because of the whole procedure... the fact that the military had gone to immense trouble (to find his body)."
Ms. Long now recalls her mother, Dorothy Allen of Tyler, speaking of her long-lost cousin years ago.
"He had been a real golden boy," she said. "He was handsome, he was an A student, he was just anything and everything a person could possibly want to be."
Ms. Long is Allen's only living relative on his father's side, and she feels her newfound relationship to the soldier gives her a new responsibility.
"In some ways, I'm passing this on," she said. "I feel like I've been handed a torch of some sort."
ALLEN, AUGUSTUS J
Posted: 7 October 2005 Updated: 20 July 2006