Virginia Heroes

James Maxwell Allen

Chief Water Tender, Navy

Born: October 16, 1907
Hometown: Accomack County, VA
Entered: November 26, 1935
Served In: World War II
Missing In Action Date: December 24, 1943
Casualty Date: December 23, 1944
Died In: North Atlantic
Awards: Purple Heart

Chief Water Tender Allen served aboard the USS Leary DD-158.

In November 1943, the destroyer joined the escort carrier USS Card off the east coast on a hunter-killer operation mission.  Around 0500, on December 24, 1943, the destroyer found itself in the middle of German U-boats.  The ship was hit by a torpedo on the starboard side near the engine room which caused an internal explosion and she sank within 30 minutes 535 miles northwest of Cape Finisterre.  Ninety-seven (97) members of the destroyer were lost including CWT Allen.

CWT Allen’s name is on the memorial wall at the Cambridge American Cemetery, England.


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