Confirmation of the interment of Walter D. McLean's remains at Golden Gate Cemetery.

lem (Brasil)-Borenquin (Costa Rica) and finally

Morrison Field in Palm Beach Florida or Hunter

Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. The first

crews were to set out on the long journey home

between June 3 and 6 and selected pilots were

busy practicing instrument and night flying.

On June 9 Walter McLean and William McMillan

were reunited in the same cockpit to perform

such a training flight. After the movie in the airport movie theater ended, they got on board of

43-36226. This aircraft was brand new when McMillan flew it on his twelfth mission and in the letter home, he complained that Germans had put

ninety holes into his shiny, new airplane! There

was no such a threat now, the night training flight was to proceed without problems. But it was

not to be the case. Shortly after the take-off, due

to unknown causes, the aircraft burst into flames

and crashed into the sea barely 1,000 ft (300 m)

from the end of the runway. Both pilots perished.

McMillan ‘s body was recovered during the same

night, McLean’s body on the following day. In 2007

Walter’s brother, James McLean recalled:

“When the telegram arrived, I opened 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."

The last airplane with 310th BG personnel landed

at Savannah airport on June 19. But the pilots who

two months earlier nursed badly shattered Angel

of Mercy back to the home base were not among


The author would like to thank Daniel Setzer of

the 37th Bomb Wing Association for invaluable

help with documents and additional information.


428th Bomb Squadron Chronicle and Combat Reports

57th Bomb Wing Association Bulletin (Winter 2007,

Summer 2010)

Oakland Tribune, 1944

Over the Med - 340th Bombardment Group (Medium)

B-25J-10-NC, 43-35982, 428th BS, 310th BG, 12th AF,

Ghisonaccia, Corsica, France, April 1945

INFO Eduard - September 2021