Sergeant John McLea - 426 Squadron  
   

Sergeant John McLea - RCAF

 

Sergeant John McLea was serving as Rear Gunner on board Halifax Mk.VII NP709 coded OW-A during an operation to Oberhausen on November 1/2, 1944. The aircraft left Linton-on-Ouse at 1744hrs and was shot down by a night fighter piloted by Lt. Martin Tschiersch, the entire crew was killed.

The crew consisted of:

Name

Service

Trade

Hometown

Age

F/O William Anderson

RCAF

Pilot

Toronto, Ontario

21

Sgt James Langton

RAFVR

Flight Engineer

Scotland

20

F/O Gordon Mullin

RCAF

Navigator

-

-

Sgt Cyril Goble

RCAF

Bomb Aimer

Calgary, Alberta

22

Sgt Thomas Edgell

RAFVR

W/Op/AG

-

22

F/Sgt Leslie Griffith

RCAF

Air Gunner

-

24

F/Sgt John McLea

RCAF

Air Gunner

Hamilton, Ontario

19

 Sergeant John McLea was the son of William and Victoria May McLea of 11 Foster Aveneue, Hamilton, Ontario. A former sergeant with the 81st Squadron Air Cadets of Canada; he also attended the Queen Victoria Public School and the Hamilton Technical Institute. He went on to work at Canadian Comstock in Welland before enlisting in the RCAF in June 1943 and posting to England in March 1944.

A sister, Beatrice and brother William both also served with the RCAF on the West Coast and at St.Thomas respectively.

 Pilot William Anderson is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, John McLea and the rest of the crew are buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery.

Photo courtesy of John McClenaghan, special thanks to Lisa Sharp,  research by Linda Ibrom.