Pilot Officer Hugh Alexander McLENNAN DFM

Service No: 401243
Born: Temora NSW, 6 July 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 5 January 1941 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 156 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Warboys
Died: Air Operations: (No. 156 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED485), North West Europe, 19 February 1943, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Hugh Richmond McLennan and Merzine Anne Pauline McLennan, of Albury, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 191, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

DFM Citation: On one night in July 1942, 401243 Sergeant McLennan was the wireless operator of an aircraft detailed to attack Duisberg. When nearing the target area, the pilot was compelled to dive the aircraft violently, and Sergeant McLennan was thrown from his position in the astro-hatch. A box of incendiaries bombs broke loose from its stowage, and the contents were scattered in the rear of the aircraft. One of the bombs became ignited, setting a further one alight and filling the aircraft6 with sparks and smoke. With his bare hands Sergeant McLennan picked up one of the blazing bombs and endeavoured to throw it out through the escape hatch. He was unable to open the hatch but with great presence of mind, he pushed the burning bomb through the fabric of the fuselage. In spite of burns to his hands, he picked up the remaining bomb and disposed of it in a similar manner. By his prompt and courageous action, this airman averted an extremely serious situation.

At 1807 hours on 19 February 1943 Lancaster ED485 took off from Warboys to carry out a bombing attack on Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft after take-off and the aircraft and crew did not return to base.

The crew members of ED485 were:

Sergeant Edward Percy George Bayliss (1041555) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Pilot Officer Thomas Edward Case (J/17539) (RCAF) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Elias Cuthbert (41575) (RNZAF) (Front Gunner/Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant John William Denby (1256582) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Hugh Alexander McLennan DFM (401243) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Pierre Yves Camille Tremblay (J/17540) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer Harry William Welch (J/16600) (RCAF) (Navigator)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/26/40

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