Eltham Roll of Honour: Flt. Sgt. Stanley McLean, 7 Oct 1944, Emmerich, Germany

McLEAN, Stanley, Flt. Sgt., 419844
(KIA 7 Oct 1944, Emmerich, Germany)
419844 Flight Sergeant Stanley McLean (NAA)

Stanley McLean was born 21 April 1924 at Carlton, the son of Gordon Stanley and Lucy Mclean. Gordon was a miner and the family lived at Black Snake Creek, Dargo. The family moved to Mount Pleasant Road, Eltham sometime around 1941. Lucy is listed in the 1943 Electoral Roll, but Gordon is not. It appears he was based at the Garrison Battalion, Tatura, at the time.

Stanley was educated at No. 3606 Crooked River State School via Dargo from 1936 to 1938 and then at the Secondary Correspondence School, Napier Street, Fitzroy from 1938 to 1940. Stanley passed his Intermediate Certificate at the Higher Standard in eight subjects: Geometry and Trigonometry, Algebra, Arithmetic, English, History, Geography, Drawing and French. He then sat for his Leaving Certificate in December 1941 at the University of Melbourne, achieving a Pass in English, History, Geography and Drawing. He also studied Maths. Stanley enjoyed swimming, football, cricket, cycling and tennis, the latter in which he held certificates at junior and senior levels.

On 17 July 1942 Stanley applied for Air Crew with the R.A.A.F., which was signed by his mother, Lucy. He enlisted at Melbourne in the R.A.A.F. on 29 September 1942, his occupation being recorded as a Junior Staff assistant in the Industrial and Employment Office with the Department of Aircraft Production, Beaufort Division. His place of residence was listed with his parents, at Mount Pleasant Road, Eltham.

Stanley was posted as Aircrew to No. 3 Bombing and Gunnery School at West Sale, Victoria, on 22 October then No. 1 Initial Training School at Somers, Victoria on 7 December. From there he was posted to No. 2 Wireless Air Gunners School at Parkes, New South Wales on 4 February 1943 from where he enjoyed two days leave in Sydney on June 9. From there he was posted to No. 2 Bombing and Gunnery School at Port Pirie, South Australia on 24 July 1943. On 19 August he was mustered as a Wireless Air Gunner and promoted to Sergeant and was posted to No. 1 Embarkation Depot at Ascot Vale, Victoria on 20 August, moving to No. 2 Embarkation Depot at Bradfield Park (now Lindfield), New South Wales on September 8 and attached to Overseas HQ UK.

Stanley embarked Brisbane 10 September and disembarked in the UK, 19 October 1943, assigned to 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Depot, R.A.F. on 20 October 1943. He was then posted to No. 2 (O) Advanced Flying Unit at Millom, Cumbria on 18 January 1944 where he was mustered as Wireless Operator (Air) and promoted to Flight Sergeant on 19 February.  From there to No. 12 Operational Training Unit at Chipping Warden on April 4 from where he was assigned to No 31 Base on July 14 and 514 Bomber Squadron on 30 September 1944.

On the 7th October 1944, Lancaster LM735 of 514 Squadron R.A.F. (Radio Call Sign JI-G2) took off from R.A.F. Waterbeach at 1225 hours detailed to bomb Emmerich, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base.

No crash site is given but the bodies of six of the crew were recovered and lie in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, suggesting that the aircraft came down in the vicinity of the target. Three other Lancasters were also lost in the target area, at least one to flak and another to incendiaries from another aircraft. It is considered most likely that LM735 was hit either by flak or by ‘friendly’ bombs. There is no record of hostile fighter activity on this daylight operation.

Stanley was reported missing believed killed during air operations over target Emmerich, Germany. He was listed as “Presumed Dead” by Overseas Headquarters with effect from 7 October 1944.


  • R.A.F. Flt Sgt T Gilchrist, Captain (Pilot)
  • R.A.F. Sgt H R Knight, (Flight Engineer)
  • R.A.F. WO G J Manlow, (Navigator)
  • R.A.F. Sgt T Fenwick, (Air Bomber)
  • R.A.A.F. 419844 Flt Sgt S McLean, (Wireless Operator / Air Gunner)
  • R.A.F. Sgt B L Roberts, (Mid Upper Gunner)
  • R.A.F. Sgt P J Sheehy, (Rear Gunner)

All the crew were killed. Six of the crew are buried in the Rheichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. The cemetery is 5kms south west of Kleve near the Dutch border. Kleve is just across the Rhine River from Emmerich, the target of their operations the night they were shot down.

Sgt Sheehy has no known grave, and his name commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing, Runnymede, UK

Stanley’s file notes that his parents moved to “Banksia” Maldon in 1949.

Stanley was remembered with the following notices published in The Argus newspaper, Tuesday 25 September 1945, p2:

  • McLean. —On October 7, 1944, presumed to have lost his life over Emmerich, Germany, 419844, F.-Sgt. Stanley, devoted son of Mr. and Mrs. G. S. McLean, Eltham, and loved brother of Olive, Margaret, John and Anne
  • McLean. —On October 7, 1944, presumed to have lost his life over Germany, 419844, F.-Sgt. Stanley, loved grandson of Peter and the late Martha Nelson, and loved nephew of Belle, Elizabeth, Marion and Lewis.

The Argus, Monday, 7 October 1946, p15

  • McLean. —In loving memory of F./Sgt. Stanley McLean, presumed to have lost his life over Germany, October 7, 1944, loved son of Mr. and Mrs. G. S. McLean, and loved brother of Olive, Margaret, John and Anne. – Always remembered.
  • McLean. —In loving memory of F./Sgt. Stanley McLean, presumed to have lost his life over Germany, October 7, 1944, loved grandson of Peter and the late Martha Nelson, and loved nephew of Belle, Elizabeth, Marion and Lewis. – Always remembered
  • McLean. —Treasured memories of 419844, F./Sgt. Stanley, killed over Emmerich, Germany, October 7, 1944, grandson of Peter Nelson, nephew of Belle, Elizabeth, Lewis and Marion.

Memorial notices were annually published at least till 1953.

The Age, Saturday, 10 October 1953, p19

  • McLean. —In loving memory of 419844, F./Sgt. Stanley McLean, missing air operations over Emmerich, Germany, October 7, 1944, loved son of Lucy and the late Gordon and loved brother of Olive, Margaret, John and Anne

Stanley is buried in Rheichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, Grave 2. B. 13.

McLEAN, Flt. Sgt. STANLEY, 419844 R.A.A.F.
7th October 1944. Age 20.
Son of Gordon Stanley McLean and Lucy McLean, of Maldon, Victoria, Australia.
Always Remembered

◊         ◊        ◊


“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

  • Sgt. George Williams
  • Sgt. Reginald E. Sims
  • L/Cpl. George Moore
  • L/Cpl. Henry G. Philips
  • L/Cpl. John C. Bell
  • Pte. Geoffrey Grant
  • Pte. George Sommerville
  • Pte. George Brown
  • Pte. John Brown
  • Pte. William Bond
  • Pte. Thomas Cameron
  • Pte. Alfred Cassells
  • Pte. Robert Meadows
  • Pte. Walter Mosley
  • Pte. James Pryor
  • Pte. William Prior
  • Pte. Edward Barrett
  • Pte. William Crellin
  • Pte. Henry Norman
  • Pte. Edward Bird
  • Pte. Arthur Brown
  • Pte. Roslyn Stevens
  • Pte. Herbert Creed
  • Pte. Charles Bromfield
  • Pte. Kenneth Sharp
  • Pte. Henry McAlary
  • Capt. S.M. Gahan
  • Plt. Off. D. Rutter
  • Flt. Off. D.H. Rutter
  • Flt. Sgt. S.M. Mclean
  • Flt. Sgt. L. Ingram
  • Sgt. C.D. Dunlop
  • Cpl. T. Feldbauer
  • Cpl. A.C. Clerke
  • Spr. G.E. Castledine
  • Pte. J. Butherway
  • Pte. K.F. Field

Soldiers of the Shire of Eltham remembered on the Eltham Roll of Honour for their supreme sacrifice; located in the Eltham War Memorial Hall

#VictoriaRemembers   #VPDay75
The Eltham Roll of Honour: Second World War

Read the stories of all the men from the Shire of Eltham who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War and to whom the Eltham War Memorial is dedicated.

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