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Remembering World War II
Name: John Charles McLean Rank: Technical Sergeant Service Number: 35310112 Service: Company C, 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division, US Army Awards: Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster Date of Birth: October 13, 1910 Place of Birth: Sydney, Cape Breton, NS Date of Enlistment: June 18, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co. Ohio Address at Enlistment: Youngstown, Mahoning Co., Ohio Age at Enlistment: 31 Height: 5 feet, 9 inches Complexion: Dark Hair Color: Dark Brown Eye Color: Blue / Gray Occupation: industry clerk Marital Status: Single Next of Kin: Mrs. McLean, (Mother) Date of Death: January 10, 1945 Age: 34 Cemetery: Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France Grave: Plot G, Row 9, Grave 26 John Charles McLean was the son of John R. (Jack) McLean (1866–1944) and Jessie Ann Gillis McLean (1874–1956). His father was born in Baddeck in Victoria County, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. His mother was born in Ingonish, Cape Breton. John had six sisters, Margaret Teresa McLean (1895-1983), Mary Catherine ‘Kathleen’ McLean (1901-1984), Mildred McLean (born 1901), Mary Frances McLean (1905-1996), Clarissa Mabel McLean (1907-1994), and Anna Isabel McLean (1908-1975) John’s uncle Angus Gillis (Service No. 3187258) served Canada in the First World War enlisting May 31, 1918. John immigrated to the United States on December 21, 1927, initially to Detroit, Michigan, and settled in Chicago. In 1930, John and his parents were living on Oglesby Avenue in Chicago, along with his two older sisters Clarissa and Anna. John registered for the US Draft October 16, 1940, in Chicago, Cook Co., Illinois. At the time he was working as a clerk for the Valley Mould & Iron Corporation. After enlistment in June of 1942, John was assigned to the 314th Infantry Regiment. He trained at Fort Blanding, in Clarke, Clay County, Florida before serving in the European Theatre with the 314th. During the 314th’s fighting in Normandy, he was admitted to a US Army hospital in July and discharged in August of 1944 from a battle casualty to his extremities from artillery shelling. John survived the Normandy Campaign. The 314th fought as part of the 79th Division, which held a defensive line along the Lauter River, at Wissembourg at the end of 1944 from December 20, 1944, until January 2, 1945, when it withdrew to Maginot Line defenses. The German attempt to establish a bridgehead west of the Rhine at Gambsheim resulted in furious fighting. The 79th beat off German attacks at Hatten and Rittershoffen in an 11-day battle before withdrawing to new defensive positions south of Haguenau on the Moder River, January 19, 1945. Technical Sergeant John Charles McLean was killed in action January 10, 1945, during the Battle of the Bulge, most likely near Reipertswiller in France. He was awarded the Purple Heart and, having been wounded in action previously, with Oak Leaf Cluster (and Oak Leaf is awarded for each incident of being wounded in action). John was initially interred at the Saint Avold Cemetery in Metz, France (designated as temporary cemetery 3574 by the US Army Grave Registration Service) in Plot 4J, Row 2, Grave 44, and reinterred at the Lorraine American Cemetery in St. Avold, France near the German border. The Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in France covers 113.5 acres and contains the largest number of graves of American military dead of World War II in Europe, a total of 10,481. Their headstones are arranged in nine plots in a generally elliptical design extending over the beautiful rolling terrain of eastern Lorraine. A second Nova Scotian, Staff Sergeant Michael J. McLean, served with the 314th Infantry Regiment.
John Charles McLean
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