Allan, Fergus Alister (Pilot Officer, b.1917 - d.1942)

Accession Number AWM2019.1052.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 3 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Letter
Maker Allan, Fergus Alister
Place made Australia, Egypt, Kenya
Date made 1941-1942
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition

Collection relating to the Second World War service of 401265 Pilot Officer Fergus Alister Allan, 70 Operational Training Unit, Royal Australian Air Force, Australia, Egypt and Kenya, 1941-1943.

Wallet 1 of 1 – Consists of three folders of letters and documents relating to Pilot Officer Allan.

Folder 1 of 3 contains 16 letters and associated envelopes from Pilot Officer Allan to his family, dated between 7 January and 2 August 1941. They cover the period of his air observer training in South Australia. In his letters, Pilot Officer Allan writes about commencing Initial Training School, getting vaccinations, leave in Adelaide, his daily routine at camp, a fire drill, studying, receiving mail, attending Air Observer School, his impressions of Mount Gambier, going to church, his first flight, doing navigation exercises, a boxing competition, completing exams, attending Bombing and Gunnery School, his impressions of Port Pirie, large amounts of mud at the aerodrome, doing air to ground gunnery, and attending Air Navigation School.

Folder 2 of 3 contains 11 letters from Pilot Officer Allan to his family, dated between 17 September 1941 and 16 January 1942, and two letters from RAAF representatives to Pilot Officer Allan’s father, Mr David Lindsay Allan, dated between 3 February 1942 and 23 February 1943. All letters include associated envelopes. In his letters to his family, Pilot Officer Allan writes about his journey from Australia to Africa on HMT Queen Mary, passing time while waiting for a posting, his impressions of Egypt, going on leave in Cairo, censoring letters, sightseeing, travelling to Kenya on a small ship, the living conditions in his new camp, attending lectures, going on a safari, playing tennis and yachting during time off, playing cricket against another air force camp, being posted to an Operational Training Unit, listening to war news on the radio, going on leave in Nairobi, Christmas on a nearby farm, and working hard during training. The letters also include two issues of the daily HMT Queen Mary newsletter and one postcard. The letters from RAAF Representatives to Mr David Lindsay Allan inform him of Pilot Officer Allan’s death, and advise him of arrangements regarding Pilot Officer Allan’s belongings and finances.

Folder 3 of 3 contains reference material relating to Pilot Officer Allan. It includes a short biography written by his niece and typed transcripts of his letters.

History / Summary

Pilot Officer Fergus Alister Allan enlisted to the Royal Australian Air Force on 5 January 1941. He trained as an air observer in South Australia, and went on to do operational training at 70 Operational Training Unit, Nakuru, Kenya. On 23 January 1942, Pilot Officer Allan was killed in a training accident, alongside the other two members of his crew. He is buried at Nakuru North Cemetary, Kenya.