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Remembering World War II
Name: Albert Benjamin McLellan Rank: Flight Sergeant Service Number: R/64893 Service: 61 RAF Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force Date of Birth: January 18, 1916 Place of Birth: Prince Rupert, British Columbia Date of Enlistment: August 19, 1940 Place of Enlistment: Moncton, New Brunswick Address at Enlistment: River Philip, NS Age at Enlistment: 24 Height: 6 feet, 2 inches Complexion: Medium Eye colour: Blue Hair colour: Light Brown Occupation: Farming and woods work Marital Status: Single Next of Kin: Albert Richard McLellan (Father) Religion: Baptist Date of Death: September 10, 1942 Age: 26 Cemetery: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany Grave: Section 4, Row A, Grave 14 Commemorated on Page 98 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on March 2 Albert Benjamin McLellan was the son of Albert Richard McLellan (1888-1972) and Lillian Edna (Cobb) McLellan (1891-1971), of River Philip, Cumberland Co., NS. His father was born in Nova Scotia. His mother was born in Copper Cliff in Nipissing, Ontario (10 km’s west of Sudbury, ON). Albert had two sisters - an older sister Helen Mary McLellan (1914-2008), and younger sister Kathleen. He also had three younger brothers – Cyril Cobb McLellan (1918-1943), Arthur Richard McLellan (1923-2022), and Donald Maxwell McLellan (1926-1988), Arthur served in the Royal Canadian Navy (Service No. V/37085) on HMCS Baddeck, and Warrant Officer Class II Cyril Cobb McLellan, also served with the Royal Canadian Air Force (405 Squadron) in the Second World War, and died on August 2, 1943. Albert’s sister Helen married Charles Hubert Elroy Smith (1913–1996) of Shelburne, NS, on August 30, 1941. Before enlisting in August of 1940, Albert worked for R. M. Baxter (lumber industry) in Truro, Nova Scotia, employed doing mill work. He indicated that after the war he hoped to work as an auto mechanic. It was noted that upon enlistment Albert was in excellent physical health. He noted that he had applied previously to serve in the RCAF on August 25, 1939, that he enjoyed baseball, skating, hunting, fishing and swimming, and that his preference was to serve as an air gunner. His assessment indicated he was deliberate and organized. They added that he was confident, mature and pleasant. Comments indicate he was a “keen boy, the farmer type. Keen, well spoken. Anxious to become an Air Gunner. Should respond well to training.” His references on his enlistment were Edward Giles, a Captain with the Nova Scotia Highlanders and Inspector of Fisheries at the time in Pugwash, NS and Manford Chappell Oxley (1889-1945), a local farmer. Both men were from River Philip. Upon enlisting, he departed Moncton August 14th by train for Toronto, Ontario, on August 16, 1940 via Montreal, Quebec. Albert completed his Wireless training at the No. 1 Wireless School at RCAF Trenton in Ontario from to March 3 to July 20, 1941 (Course #12). He also trained in Montreal and Saskatchewan. He earned his Air Gunner’s Badge on September 15, 1941, and the day after, was granted embarkation leave from September 16-25, 1941, before departing for England. Albert was assigned to 61 Squadron of the Royal Air Force. Their motto was ‘Per purum tonantes’ - 'Thundering through the clear air'. Flight Sergeant Albert Benjamin McLellan was killed in action when his Lancaster I bomber aircraft, W4111 (Code QR-N) was lost in air operations over Germany on September 10, 1942. The target was Dusseldorf, Germany and the aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft flak from the ground, and lost somewhere in the vicinity of Zündorf, a suburb of Cologne. The other crew of Lancaster W4111 who died with Albert, and who are all interred at the Rheinberg War Cemetery, were: Flight Sergeant John Lawrence Blair (Service No. R/85445) Observer, RCAF Section 4, Row A, Grave 12 Sergeant Malcolm Charles Davies (Service No. 1238468) Pilot, RAF Collective grave 4. B. 3-19 Flight Sergeant Frank Wilfred Kidson (Service No. R/92307) Wireless Operator, RCAF Collective grave 4. B. 3-19 Sergeant Peter Alec Lashly (Service No. 1208560) Flight Engineer, RAF Collective grave 4. B. 3-19 Pilot Officer Louis Poch (Service No. J/8611) Air Observer, RCAF Section 4, Row A, Grave 11 Flight Sergeant James Harold Boston Woolgar (Service No. R/59555) Wireless Operator, RCAF Section 4, Row A, Grave 13
Albert Benjamin McLellan
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Sources: Photo - Lancaster I bomber aircraft, W4111 (Code QR-N) Aircrew Remembered Canadian Virtual War Memorial findagrave
Lancaster BIIIs of 61 Sqn RAF by Keith Woodcock