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Getting Prepared for Flight

Heroes Remember

Getting Prepared for Flight

Well if we were going to be flying that night, we would have a good meal of bacon and eggs, air crew were kept pretty well nourished and then we would go to briefing say at 7:30, 8 o'clock. Now these are just times I pick out of the air but generally speaking. Then we would suit up and we'd jump in a lorry that would pick us up and take us out to dispersal where "Willy the Wolf" was waiting for us. And we'd go out there and each member of the crew had the duty of looking after their own equipment and to make sure that everything was okay. And the first trip the skipper would and the flight engineer would start up the motors and he'd pull out of dispersal with a final wave from ground crew, wonderful people, and you would marshal, line up of marshals onto the main runway and then when you got the green light you would, the aircraft would go to the runway,brakes on, full throttle, release brakes and away you went. And that's the only time you really think of it, jeez I hope we get into the air and once you're into the air everything is fine. When you are 18, you're not gonna get killed, somebody else will but you won't, you know, and of course I guess you really had to have an attitude something like that.

Mr. McLean details the process before taking flight ensuring everything is safe for operations.

John “Jack” McLean

John (Jack) Caldwell McLean was born on June 1, 1925, in Port Elgin, Ontario. He moved to Hull, Quebec, with his family at age 12, and then eventually settled in Ottawa, Ontario. He enlisted at 55 Queen Street in Ottawa on September 15, 1943, and joined 415 (Swordfish) Squadron, Bomber Command, as an air gunner on an all-Canadian crew. Number 6 Group consisted of 14 squadrons on 7 airfields in Yorkshire, England. Mr. McLean ended the war as a flying officer (FO), after completing a tour of 32 trips. He was also a volunteer for “Tiger Force.” He enjoyed a successful career in the public service at the Department of Finance, the Treasury Board Secretariat, and Indian and Northern Affairs. He was married on May 15, 1948, and raised a family of five. Mr. McLean is a member of Branch 593 of the Royal Canadian Legion (Bells Corners), and is a member of the Air Force Association.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 22, 2012
Person Interviewed:
John “Jack” McLean
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
415 Squadron
Mid Upper / Tail Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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