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Back to England at Last!

Heroes Remember

Back to England at Last!

I was driven to Buckingham Palace where the King of the day, George VI pinned the DFC on me with, and a group of other people of course, about perhaps a total of seventy five, perhaps, fifty anyway. It was quite an event. And at the same, at the same investiture, Goldie, who had escaped with me had, had been decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal. As a matter of fact, when we got to Gourock, outside of Glasgow, except there were intelligence officers sent aboard to, to look after us and an officer he said, “I’ll be taking you to supper in Glasgow.” We went to... “and then you’ll be going by train to London.” He took us to a hotel in Glasgow and there were, at the next table there were three middle-aged couples having supper and we were all... Incidently, it got quite cool before we got to Scotland so we had to dispense with our RAF summer kit, which was too cold and we were in the non-descript civilian clothes we escaped in. When we were taken to this hotel by this officer there was a, there was a service police sitting behind each one of us on a chair and these people at the next table in a, I think in a voice that we're making sure we’d hear, they were saying what a damn disgrace these so-and-so’s deserters that our police have to waste their valuable time rounding them up.

After some time on Gibraltar, Mr. MacLean returned to England by way of Scotland. While in Scotland, he was informed that he would receive the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and was summoned to Buckingham Palace where he received his medal from King George VI.

John Angus MacLean

Mr. MacLean’s father was a farmer in eastern Prince Edward Island. His grandfather came to Canada from Scotland in 1832. Mr. MacLean had three brothers and four sisters. Two of his brothers died, one at the age of fiveand the other at the age of about one year. For the first two years of his higher education, Mr. MacLean attended Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. He went on to the University of British Columbia for his third year of study on a one-year scholarship, majoring in chemistry. In 1938, he returned to Mount Allison University to complete his studies and graduated in 1939. Following graduation, he answered a newspaper advertisement placed by the Royal Air Force for a short-term commission with the RAF. He was chosen as one of two successful Canadian candidates. But, before he could leave for England, the Second World War had started and he was offered a commission in the Royal Canadian Air Force, which he accepted. Mr. MacLean’s bomber was brought down over Germany and he and his crew were forced to bail out. Mr. MacLean landed just inside occupied Holland and was moved along the Comet Line through Holland, Belgium and France to freedom in Spain. He’s an excellent story-teller with emphasis on detail. Mr. MacLean also had an outstanding post-war career as a politician. He served for 10 terms as a Member of Parliament and a term as Premier of his home province of Prince Edward Island.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Angus MacLean
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
Bomber Command

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