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First Name: Allen

Last Name: Brill

Birthplace: Sedalia, MO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: U.S. Army Air Forces (1941 - 1947)

Home of Record: Sedalia, MO

Date of Birth: 22 November 1916

Date of Death: 04 March 1943

Rank: First Lieutenant

Years Served:
Allen Brill

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Allen Brill
First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces

On 4 March 1943, First Lieutenant Allen Brill was serving with the 324th Bombardment Squadron, 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy), Eighth Air Force in the European Theater of Operations.

On that day, 1LT Brill was Pilot of B-17F bomber S/N 41-24464 'Excalibur' on a bombing mission over German-occupied continental Europe. 1LT Brill's aircraft was attacked by a force of German fighter aircraft and was shot down over the North Sea by a Me-110 after a long fight. The number 1 engine was destroyed; the #3 engine was losing all its oil; and the #4 engine was feathered, so 1LT Brill was forced to put the aircraft down on the North Sea, 40 miles west of Texel Island in North Holland and the plane broke in two. Putting the lives of his crew first, 1LT Brill remained at his post and helped other crew members exit the airplane; sacrificing his own chance to escape. 1LT Brill's courageous actions and extraordinary heroism helped save the lives of other crew members and earned him the U.S. Army's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.

[First Lieutenant Allan W. Lowry (Honoree Record ID 58828), 1LT Brill's Co-Pilot on this mission, also received a posthumous Distinguished Service Cross for his role in this mission.]

Medals, Awards and Badges

Distinguished Service Cross
Purple Heart
Air Medal with Award Numeral 2
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Army Air Forces Pilot Badge

Distinguished Service Cross Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant (Air Corps) Allen Brill (ASN: 0-442336), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a B-17 Heavy Bomber in the 324th Bombardment Squadron, 91st Bombardment Group (H), EIGHTH Air Force, in action while on a bombing mission over enemy occupied continental Europe. The airplane in which Lieutenant Brill was serving was attacked by a force of enemy fighter aircraft and was forced down on the North Sea after a long and gallant fight. In utter disregard for his own safety Lieutenant Brill remained at his post and aided other crew members to leave the airplane; in so doing, he sacrificed his own chance for escape. By his devotion to duty and complete disregard for his personal welfare Lieutenant Brill helped to save the lives of other crew members, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the armed forces of the United States.

General Orders: Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, General Orders No. 31 (May 22, 1943)


First Lieutenant Allen Brill's remains were lost at sea. He is memorialized by having his name inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial in Coton, South Cambridgeshire District, Cambridgeshire, England.


Honoree ID: 54916   Created by: MHOH




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