FSGT Thomas Walter Allen 440166

Portrait of 440166 Airman, later Flight Sergeant (Flt Sgt) Thomas Walter Allen of Earlwood, NSW.
Squadron/s12 SQN
Rank On Discharge/Death Flight Sergeant (FSGT)
Mustering / SpecialisationWireless Operator
Date of Birth01 Oct 1925
Date of Death20 May 1945
Contributing Author/sDavid Hamilton and Ron Rigg.
Updated by Vince Conant in June 2013

Tom was born the 1st October 1925 in Camperdown, NSW. He was an apprentice with Harbour Press before enlisting in the RAAF on the 25th September 1943. He trained as a Wireless Operator and flew Liberator bombers with 12 Squadron RAAF based at Truscott Airbase in the Northern Territory.

On the 20th May 1945, Tom was part of the crew of Liberator A72-160 (a B-24M-10-CO model) piloted by Flight Lieutenant F. L. Sismey. According to an edited version of the Accident Report:

The aircraft was on a mission from to Balikpapan and while taking off at night from Truscott Airstrip, it became airborne half way down the strip. It is believed the aircraft became airborne early due to a noticeable hump in the airstrip causing the aircraft to suddenly climb approx. 20ft. According to the witnesses who were part of a working party directly in front of the aircraft when it became airborne, the aircraft apparently veered left moving rather slowly, gaining little speed or height. The aircraft then rose to about 40 ft and then fell sharply to the ground a short distance away from its initial point of take-off. With fire crews quickly making their way to the scene, any hope of finding survivors was lost when a number depth charges the aircraft was carrying exploded. Tom and all of the other 10 members of the crew were killed.

He was the son of Thomas James Allen and Barbara Ruth Allen of Earlwood, NSW.



Liberator A72-98 which is similar to the one that Tom flew in.

Tom was buried at Adelaide River War cemetry. Grave S.A.15.

Liberator Bomber similar to that which crashed while in service with 12 SQN. Crew; FLTLT F.L. Sismey 402764 (Pilot), FLGOFF W.S. Bell, WOFF T.N. Rust, WOFF B.L. Cox, FSGT L. Duncanson, FSGT L.M. Bailey, FSGT I.N.L. Eadton, FSGT T.W. Allan, FSGT D.D. Benson, FSGT J.A. Hollis, FSGT J.R.W. Herps. [ADF Serials]

Learn more about the squadron/s in which Thomas served.