Geoffrey Allard was born in York in 1912. He joined the RAF in 1929 and trained as a leading aircraftman (LAC) mechanic. He began pilot training in 1936 and qualified the following year. He joined No. 85 Squadron, RAF and was serving with that unit as a sergeant pilot when the Second World War broke out.
Photo courtesy of Imperial War Museum website
Allard was a popular and talented pilot. He went with the squadron to France in 1939, which remained there throughout the ‘Phoney War’ until it was needed to take part in the Battle of France in May 1940. Allard destroyed several enemy aircraft during this period, but became so exhausted from flying multiple missions each day that he was sent back to England to recuperate. Allard was awarded a Distinguished Flying Medal for his contribution at this time.
Allard destroyed several enemy aircraft during this period, but became so exhausted from flying multiple missions each day that he was sent back to England to recuperate.
Allard added to his list of destroyed German aircraft during the Battle of Britain. He, along with another pilot, shot down a Messerschmitt Bf 109 on 30 July and he shared in the destruction of a Dornier bomber on 6 August. His squadron was moved from RAF Debden in Essex to Croydon on 19 August, putting it at the heart of the battle. On 24 August, Allard shot down a Messerschmitt Bf 109 into the sea, near Ramsgate. He then destroyed at least two Dorniers on 26 August and another Bf 109 on 28 August.
The squadron was badly hit by a Luftwaffe raid on 1 September, and Allard’s Hawker Hurricane was damaged. A few days later, the unit moved north to Yorkshire and out of the intense danger in southern England. Allard had shot down around eight enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain, and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for his ‘skill and courage’.
On 13 March 1941, Allard was killed alongside two other pilots near RAF Debden when the aircraft they were in crashed soon after take-off.