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