During the month of July, the 35th Lights for Peace flag to fly at the Fort Taber – Fort Rodman Military Museum honors the memory of PFC David E. Allain, a combat veteran from New Bedford who served in the United States Air Corps, participating in 11 combat missions during WWII.
David was born on November 3, 1919 to Thaddee Allain and Marie Rose LeBlanc, the oldest of eight children. He attended New Bedford public schools and at the age of 17 left school to work and help support his family. At the age of 22, David joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941 and was assigned to Columbia, S.C. where he attended Aerial Gunner school. He was then assigned to Buckley Field and Lowry Field, Colorado, where he trained as an AP Armorer or Aircraft Armory Specialist.
PFC Allain was assigned to the HQ 309th Bombardment Group AAF in the Bomb Crew Section. He flew on nine training missions beginning February 1944 on a B25H Bomber, flying from Columbia Air Base in SC. to Elgin Field in FL and Hunter Field in GA.
These training missions were to prepare him for his combat missions during WWII which started in June 1944. PFC Allain flew a total of 11 combat missions on a B25G Bomber for a total of 65 hours as a gunner in the tail position. He was a member of the 345th Bomb Group from 1942 to 1945, serving in the Bismarck Archipelagos, group of islands located off the northeastern coast of New Guinea as well as the Southern Philippines and New Guinea.
Allain was honorably discharged at the rank of SSGT on October 20, 1945, at Westover Field, MA and earned the following awards: The Good Conduct Medal, The Purple Heart Medal, The American Defense Asiatic Pacific Theatre Medal with Bronze Star, The WWII Victory Medal, as well as The Aerial Gunner Aviation Badge.
According to his family, SSGT Allain received a certificate stating that “David E. Allain was a member of the 345th Bomb Group between 1942 to 1945, along the bloody trail from Port Morseby, New Guinea to Tokyo, Japan and is deserving of all Honors and Courtesies extended to veterans who have served their country well. And furthermore, as a member of good standing of the 345th Bob Group Reunion Association, who has attended one of the past reunions of plans to attend a future one – shall be known as “A Great American.”
Once retired from the military, Allain returned to New Bedford and married Doris (Lavoie) in 1947. They had three children: Bernard Allain, Ronald Allain and Doreen Wotton. David worked at Cherry & Webb department store selling shoes, working at three locations, two in Newport, RI and later in downtown New Bedford, MA. He also had a second job working at Wonder Bowl on Hathaway St. in New Bedford, working the control desk. His last job was as a security guard at the Mammoth Mart in Dartmouth, MA.
David was the oldest of eight children and five of Allain’s brothers proudly served in the military including Francois, Zoel, Rene, Arthur and Paul. He was also the brother of Cecile Silveira and Omer Allain. David’s son, Ronald Allain, is also a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
David E. Allain passed away on May 14, 1995. He was the husband of the late Doris (Lavoie) Allain and was survived by his children, Bernard Allain and his wife Maureen of Dartmouth, Ronald Allain of Troy, NH, and Doreen Wotton and her husband Russell of Dartmouth; 5 grandchildren: Nicole Allain, Matthew Allain, David Allain, Brian Wotton and Jeffrey Wotton as well as 15 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his grandson Daniel Allain.
Linda Ferreira, of Empire Ford of New Bedford, researches the life histories of area residents. American flags are provided by Empire Ford of New Bedford. Flags are raised by the staff at Fort Taber – Fort Rodman Military Museum. Those who would like to honor a local veteran in the future can contact Ferreira at firstname.lastname@example.org.