Allen spent almost eight years in Southeast Asia flying helicopters with the Marines and then Air America. Altogether, Allen flew a variety of airplanes and helicopters for two decades and has an even amount of flight time in both. For the last forty years, Allen has worked in the oil and gas industry domiciled in South Louisiana with his wife Lucette who has been with him fifty-two years. Allen continues to operate a small oil field-related custom manufacturing business, in Lafayette. Allen published his first book, "Honor Denied" in 2011. The book was republished in 2022. He served on the Air America Association Board of Directors and has written numerous articles for the Association. Allen is currently the Association Historian.
“Full Circle brought back memories of my time as a former Marine fixed wing pilot and the same with Air America in Laos and Thailand in the early 1960's. I could very easily have been Brian.” - Allen Cates, author
Allen Cates was recently honored as a hero at Hurlburt Field by the family of a pilot he rescued in Laos in 1970.
Allen Cates 1962
Allen's Military Medals L-R:
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal (13)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
National Defense Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
and Navy Citation Ribbon