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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Ernest Caldwell McLean

In memory of:

Flight Sergeant Ernest Caldwell McLean

December 8, 1942

Novrup near Esbjerg, Denmark

Military Service


Service Number:

R/93450

Age:

21

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

101 (R.A.F.) Sqdn

Additional Information


Son of John Caldwell and Agnes May McLean, of Shelburne, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 97 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:
Grave Reference:

AIII. 8. 7.

Location:

Esbjerg is a port in south-western Jutland. ESBJERG (FOURFELT) CEMETERY is about 3 kilometres to the north of the town, off the road to Hjerting, along the Gravlundvej.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Newspaper Clipping– Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me
  • Memorial– Flight Sergeant Ernest Caldwell McLean is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Flight Sergeant Ernest Caldwell McLean is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Father J P Lardie's comments as inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Cemetery– Photo of Fovrfelt Cemetery where F/S McLean and two other crew members from Lancaster W4782 in 101 (RAF) Sqn were laid to rest  on 12/12-1942.

Story of crash on Airwar Over Denmark www.flensted.eu.com.  Excerpt used with permission.

Lancaster W4782 in 101 (RAF) Sqn sent on Gardening (mining) operation in the southern entrance of Store Bælt.   
The air crew consisted of: 
WO (P) Francis Paul D. Quinn RCAF;  
Sgt. (N) Walter Currier RCAF from USA;
F/Sgt.(OB) Ernest McLean, RCAF; 
Sgt. (WO) Donald F. MacDonald RCAF; 
Sgt. (FE) Douglas Arthur Milligan RAAF; 
Sgt. (AG) Robert F. Johncock RNZAF; and Sgt. Paul Lucas RAF.

The course was over the North Sea and the Jylland peninsula then south east for the island of Langeland.  Six mines were dropped in the area Langelandsbæltet 'Kiel Bay. On the return flight they reached the Danish west coast just to the south of Esbjerg when they were coned by searchlights and the flak from both Luftwaffe and Marine started firing. The Lancaster was hit several times. One of the first rounds killed the front gunner Ernest McLEAN and wounded the pilot Francis Quinn seriously.
The rear gunner and the mid upper gunner tried to turn the searchlights off with their machine guns, but the distance was to long for their small calibres guns. Soon after the two outboard engines stopped, then one of the inboard stopped and a fire started. They were now down to 500-600 feet and the pilot ordered the crew to bail out. Due to his wounds he was himself not able to do so and would try to crash land the Lancaster. 
Flt. Engr Milligan who was unwounded refused to leave Quinn and stayed to help him land the aircraft. 
The others parachuted and were taken Prisoners of War. Their stories are on
www.flensted.eu.com.

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