Harold O Allensworth

Harold O Allensworth

World War II

WW2 Fallen – Sgt. Harold Oliver Allensworth, 8th Army Air Force, 487th Bomb Group, 838th Bomb Squadron

  • Lost at Sea, English Channel NE of Cherbourg, France

On this memorial page we honor the life and sacrifice of Harold Oliver Allensworth.

Harold Oliver Allensworth was born near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on 29 June 1925. His father was Oliver Armstrong Allensworth (1889-1989). His mother’s name was Ara Velma (Cheek) Allensworth (1907-1987). He had one younger brother, Bill, born about 1932. He and his family moved to Houston, Texas sometime after 1935. In 1940, they rented a home at 5910 Schulter. His father worked as a welder for the ‘Steel Bank Manufacturing’ company.

"According to the National Archives World War II Army enlistment records, Allensworth, Harold, O., serial # 38541748, was a resident of Harris County, TX, and he entered the Army on August 10, 1943 in Houston, TX. He was a native of Oklahoma, and was born in 1925 (June 29). At the time of his service he had completed 4 years of high school, and was single, without dependents."

Following basic training, Harold was assigned for training at Harlingen Army Air Field, Harlingen, Texas. There he qualified as an aircraft gunner. From Texas, he was assigned to the 8th Army Air Force, 487th Bomb Group, 838th Bomb Squadron; Station 137, Lavenham, Suffolk, England. There he joined the crew of a B-24H named ‘Sweatin’ It Out’ – who had deployed to England in March 1944. His crew position was ‘ball turret gunner.’ At some point, he was promoted to Sargent. Harold and his crew immediately entered the air war over Europe.

The 487th flew missions almost daily that May. In the lead up to D-Day, June 6th, the Group flew missions into Belgium, France and Germany. Targets included: marshaling yards, airfields, crossroads, oil refineries, and factories.

"According to an article in the May 29, 1944 edition of the Brownsville Herald, Sgt. Allensworth had an earlier brush with death. The article reads, “HAAF Graduate On Bomber Making News. Harlingen- Staff Sgt. Harold Allensworth of Houston, a Harlingen Army Air Field graduate, was one of the gunners aboard “Sweatin’ It Out”, which figured in the news the past week. The plane, with four engines damaged and the bomb bay doors stuck, made the flight back across the channel safely and completed a crash landing without serious mishap.”"

Tuesday June 6th the ‘Sweatin’ It Out’ was part of an early morning raid tasked with bombing a crossroad at Lisieux, France; a key roadway southeast of Caen.

“The crew of B-24H serial # 42-52629, “Sweatin’ It Out” on D-Day [were:], 1st Lt. Norman E. Gross – Pilot, 2nd Lt. Willard D. Haskell – Copilot, 2nd Lt. Francis E. Moke – Navigator, Flt. Officer Milton Levine – Bombardier, Staff Sgt. Benjamin A. Huebel Jr. – Engineer, Staff Sgt. Max I. Markowitz – Radio Operator, Sgt. Charles A. McWilliams – Nose Gunner, Sgt. Stanley J. Benson – Top Gunner, Sgt. Harold O. Allensworth – Ball Gunner, and Staff Sgt. Henry B. Westhoff Jr. – Tail Gunner. Their mission on the day they went missing in action was to… disrupt German transportation of reinforcements and supplies to the invasion zones.”

“It is believed that “Sweatin’ It Out”, ran out of fuel and crashed into the English Channel. [A P-51 fighter pilot based at Saffren Walden in Essex, England reported hearing the SOS.] [The] distress call from the crew at 0840 stated they were about thirty-five miles northwest of the Cherbourg Peninsula, and all four engines were dead. The bomber ditched in the English Channel. [The remains of only one crew member were recovered], Flight Officer Levine; picked up by the crew of the British ship HSL 192. [Flt. Officer Levine] was later buried at sea.” Harold was 18 years old.

“Sgt. Allensworth’s name is listed on the Wall of the Missing at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France.”

Sgt. Allensworth’s name also appears on column 12 of the Harris County, Texas War Memorial.

Sources:

  1. 1930 US Census; Ancestry.com

  2. 1940 US Census; Ancestry.com

  3. The Brownsville Herald, Monday 29 May1944, page 16, Col 3, Para. 4; Newspapers.com.

  4. WW2 Legacy Keepers, 2019, https://m.facebook.com/TheirFinalChapter/?ref=content_filter

  5. Bill Beigel, WWII Researcher; 2020, https://www.ww2research.com/sweatin/

  6. 487th Bomb Group Association: 2020, http//www.487thbg.org/

“This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars Project, www.storiesbehindthestars.org. This is a national effort to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen on Fold3.” September 2020.

    10 casualties related to the #42-52629 incident on June 6, 1944.

    Ball Turret Gunner: Sgt. Harold O Allensworth, OK

    Gunner: Sgt. Stanley J Benson, MI

    Pilot: 2nd Lt. Norman E Gross, PA

    Co Pilot: 2nd Lt. Willard D Haskell, ME

    Engineer: S/Sgt. Benjamin A Huebel Jr, MO

    Bombardier: F/O Milton Levine, MA

    Radio Operator: S/Sgt. Max I Markowitz, NY

    Nose Gunner: Sgt. Charles A McWilliams, IA

    Navigator: 2nd Lt. Francis E Moke, MO

    Tail Gunner: S/Sgt. Henry B Westhoff Jr, NY