Above and Beyond: Ian MacLennan

Ian MacLennan was in the thick of the aerial fighting over Malta in 1942 and achieved ace status – Graham Pitchfork tells his story

Canadian-born Ian MacLennan enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in October 1940, and after completing his flying training arrived in England during the summer of 1941.

He was a sergeant pilot flying Spitfires with 401 (RCAF) Squadron on sweeps over France and, on May 24, 1942 he damaged a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 off Calais, France. But shortly after he crashed a Spitfire, and at the subsequent reprimand, his flight commander rather pointedly commented: “… they are looking for volunteers for Malta”.

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