Having served in the trenches of France during 1916, Allan Hepburn joined the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to 24 Squadron in the summer of 1917. Flying the D.H.5, he scored no victories and continued flying despite wounds received in action on 26 October 1917. In mid-November, he joined 40 Squadron as Edward Mannock's replacement but was soon injured in a crash and sent back to England for treatment. In April 1918, Hepburn returned to duty and was posted to 88 Squadron as commander of A Flight. Flying Bristol Fighters, he and his observers claimed 16 victories before the Armistice was signed. Post-war, Hepburn returned to Australia where he joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1921 and attained the rank of Wing Commander.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lt. (A./Capt.) Allan Hepburn.
On 12th October this officer made a very fine flight, calling for courage and determination of a high order. Thick clouds were within 200 feet of the ground and the visibility was so bad that practically no flying was attempted. Despite these adverse conditions this officer volunteered to cross the lines. Climbing through the clouds, which were several thousand feet in depth, he flew above them, guided by compass, with no view of the ground. Continuing his flight until he estimated that he was in the vicinity of a certain objective, he descended, and found himself 150 feet over an enemy railway station. Dropping his bombs, he destroyed a passenger train, and afterwards engaged enemy troops and transport with machine-gun fire. Having caused considerable damage, Captain Hepburn climbed through the clouds and found his way home.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 8 February 1919 (31170/2040)