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My Buddy Harold!

Heroes Remember

Five of us joined together and I'll tell you about one, Harold O'Connor. He was an Ottawa boy and we met in June 1944 at a refresher course through the Canadian Legion in mathematics, never liked mathematics. So we had that and I joined up with Harold the same day, the five of us, we all made air crew and I stayed with Harold every step in the air force. We trained together, I always slept in the upper bunk, Harold in the lower bunk in training. And we went overseas together and we went to the same squadron. We flew many of the same trips and we were commissioned together, came home together, stationed together in Canada again and we just, it was like me finding a brother, I had no brothers. And I guess to Harold it was like him finding a brother too because he had five sisters.

Mr. McLean shares a story of his strong bond of friendship taking every step of service together.

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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