View Aircrew Details
Surname MCLENNAN   Initials H A   First Name HUGH ALEXANDER  
Decorations DFM  
Rank Sergeant   Unit RAAF   Service No. 401243  
Age 26  Deceased 19/02/1943  Previous Squadron  
Comments ORB says DFC but Sgt rank says only DFM possible.  
Address Albury, New South Wales, Australia.  
Cemetery RUNNYMEDE MEMORIALSurrey, United Kingdom  
Grave Location Panel 191.  
Additional Info Son of Hugh Richmond McLennan and Merzine Anne Pauline McLennan, of Albury, New South Wales, Australia  
War Graves Link 1079617  Grave Photo ** YES ** Cemetery Photo ** YES **
Award Date Citation / Reference Squadron
DFM  11/08/1942  Aus. 401243 Sergeant Hugh Alexander MCLENNAN, Royal Australian Air Force, No. 156 Squadron.

One night in July, 1942, this airman was the wireless operator of an aircraft detailed to attack Duisburg.
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 incendiary 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 aircraft 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.

14/08/42 ***35667***3555*** 
156 
Source Date Comments
ORB  23/07/1942  Very fine show by Sgt. McLENNAN (DFC awarded later) ** See Transcribers comments and next entry 
ORB  30/07/1942  Immediate award of D.F.M. granted to Sgt. McLENNAN for night of 23rd July. 
LG 35667  11/08/1942  DFM Notification 
DFM Register  14/08/1942  Award of Immediate DFM L.G. 14/8/42 . Sorties 11, Flying Hours 53. Wireless Operator. Air2/4891 Sergeant McLennan was Wireless Operator of an aircraft detailed to attack Duisberg on the night of 23rd/24th July, 1942. When approaching the target in order to avoid a collision with another aircraft, the Captain was compelled to dive his aircraft very violently., throwing the Navigator off his seat and the Wireless Operator from his position in the astro-hatch. At the same time, a box of incendiaries broke loose from its storage, scattering the contents in the tail of the aircraft. One of these bombs ignited setting fire to a further one and filling the aircraft with sparks and smoke. Sergeant McLennan with his bare hands picked up one of the bombs which was then burning furiously and endeavoured to throw it out of the escape hatch. He was, however, unable to open it and with great presence of mind pushed the burning bomb through the fabric of the fuselage. In spite of burns to his hand, he then picked up the other incendiary and disposed of that too by the same means. By this prompt and courageous act, Sergeant McLennan prevented the aircraft from catching fire and thereby saved the lives of a valuable crew. 25th July 1942 Remarks by Station Commander: I heartily endorse the recommendation of the Commanding Officer, 156 Squadron. I consider that Sgt McLennan acted with conspicuous presence of mind and disregard of his own personal hurt and if he had not done what he did, the fire would have got out of control and the aircraft would have been destroyed. Remarks by A.O.C.: I forward the above recommendation but submit that the courage, coolness and self-sacrifice by this N.C.O. would appear to indicate recognition of his gallantry by the award of the George Medal rather than the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal