1945 — Italy
(INFO above is INCORRECT) Walter D McLean;
Birth: Jun. 27, 1923 Death: Jun. 9, 1945 1LT, 428 AAF BOMB SQ WORLD WAR II
Burial: Golden Gate National Cemetery San Bruno San Mateo County California, USA Plot: J, 779
Walter was with the 310th Bomb Group, 428th Bomb Squad, B-25 Combat Pilot with 68 Combat Missions; DNB in tragic night Training Flight.
Walter's Family; From his brother James; My brother 1Lt Walter Donald McLean was in the 428 BS. On April 19, 1945 he flew in "Angel of Mercy" on his 66th mission, He was co-pilot to 1Lt William McMillan. The target that day was a railroad bridge at Roverto. Flak was very heavy - at least one B-25 was shot down and another lost an engine and turned back, The tail gunner in "Angel of Mercy" was wounded and the plane was badly shot up- so much so they had to make a nose wheel down - belly landing. He flew two more missions - in the the last one, his 68th, a rudder was shredded by the flak. The squadron the flight surgeon decided Walter and McMillan had pushed their luck far enough so he grounded them. With the war just about played out Walter visited Pisa and Florence and a spent a goodly amount of time laying on the beach and bicycle riding around Fano. . The Germans in Italy surrendered on early May and the German Government on May 9. Our mother was overjoyed to read he was safe and out of combat and we all expected he would be home soon. His last letters in May spoke of his plans for the future how he wanted to get home and get back to college. On the night of June 9th, after the movie was over, he met McMillan on the flight line and they got into B-25 #43-36226. #226 had been new when Walter flew in it for his 12th mission and he complained to his mother then that the Germans had put 90 holes his "brand new airplane." that day, The flight that night was to practice night landings so they could fly home and not wait for the over-crowded shipping. The plane took off then suddenly caught fire and fell into the sea about 300 yards from the end of the runway. McMillan's body was found that night, my brother's body was recovered the next day. When the telegram arrived I answered the door and saw the Western Union messenger standing there - my family was devastated of course but it was even more poignant because the war was over and he was expected back almost any day. My mother never quite recovered from the shock. The body was returned a couple of years later and was buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery. I think of him often - I'm 76 now - he died when he was only 22 . Brother; R James McLean ( 2007 )
NIGHT TRAINING LOSS; #43-36226 B-25 9 JUne, 194543-36226 B-25J 450609 ITALY ACC 7/7/44 6/9/45 428BS 310BG