Henry Wallace McLeod


Henry Wallace McLeod

Infobox Military Person
name= Henry Wallace "Wally" McLeod
lived=birth date|1915|12|17|df=y-death date and age|1944|9|27|1915|12|17|df=y
placeofbirth=Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
placeofdeath= Wesel/Duisberg, Germany


caption=Official RAF photo c. 1942
nickname="Wally"
"The Eagle of Malta"
allegiance=flag|Canada
serviceyears= 1940-1944
rank= Squadron Leader
branch=
commands=
unit= No. 132 Squadron RCAF (21 July - 28 August 1941)
No. 485 Squadron RCAF (28 August - 2 December 1941)
No. 602 Squadron (2 December - 23 December 1941)
No. 411 Squadron (23 December 1941 - 5 May 1942)
No. 603 Squadron RCAF (3 June 1942 to June/July 1942)
No. 1435 Squadron RCAF (June/July 1942 - 26 October 1942)
No. 443 Squadron RCAF (12 February 1944-27 September 1944.
battles= Wars: Second World War
Battles: Battle of Malta
Battle of Normandy
Theatres: Western and Channel Fronts
African, Mediterranean and Middle East theatre of World War II
awards=Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Flying Cross & Bar
laterwork=

Flight Lieutenant "Wally" Henry Wallace McLeod DSO, DFC and Bar RCAF (17 December 1915 - 27 September 1944) was a Canadian who flew for the RCAF as a fighter pilot during the Second World War. He achieved a total of 21 enemy aircraft destroyed, three probably destroyed, and 11 damaged, and one shared damaged. [Price 1997, p. 82.] [cite web|url=http://www.rcaf.com/archives/archives_general/aces/aces_mn.htm|title=Canadian Aces of WW2] [Some sources quote 21 destroyed, 4 probable and 10 damaged: [http://acesofww2.com/Canada/Canada.htm Henry Wallace "Wally" McLeod] ] McLeod scored 13 of kills during the Battle of Malta, earning the nickname "The Eagle of Malta". [McCaffery 1990, p. 177.]

Early life

Henry WcLeod was born in Regina, Saskatchewan to James Archibald McLeod, and Hannah Elizabeth McLeod on 17 December 1915. [ Ralph 2005, p. 24.] James McLeod from Brooklyn, Nova Scotia and went to Acadia University. His mother, Hannah, died from Spanish flu, during the pandemic, when he was three. Henry was a average student, never excelling, but always managing pass grades. From a young age he had a reputation as a fast learner. [McCaffery 1990, p. 178.]

McLeod had began his military career in 1928, serving with the 5th Saskatchewan Regiment and Regina Rifle Regiment until 1934. McLeod joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on 2 September 1940. He graduated from training on 1 April 1941 and arrived in Great Britain on 9 May 1941.

econd World War

RCAF

McLeod began fighter sweeps over France in 1941. By May 1942 he had scored five victories. On 13 October 1942 McLeod was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The citation read:

quote|"Air Ministry, 13th October, 1942."
ROYAL AIR FORCE.

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy: —
[...]
"Distinguished Flying Cross"
[...]
Acting Flight Lieutenant Henry Wallace McLEOD (Can/J.4912), Royal Canadian Air Force.

In September, 1942, this officer participated in an engagement against at least 20 Messerschmitt 109'ssic. Despite the odds, Flight Lieutenant McLeod so skilfully led his section during the combat that the enemy force was completely broken up. This officer has always displayed the greatest determination to engage the enemy and has destroyed at least 5 and damaged a number of other hostile aircraft. His leadership has been most inspiring. [LondonGazette|issue=35741|supp=yes|startpage=4437|date=9 October 1942|accessdaymonth=3 June |accessyear=2008]

Soon afterwards McLeod was moved to Malta. On 3 November 1942, he received a Bar to his DFC for his actions in the island's defence. It is believed McLeod was credited with 12 enemy aircraft at this point. [cite web|url=http://acesofww2.com/Canada/aces/Mcleod.htm|title=Three Canadians Receive Awards For Work at Malta] During his time in Malta, it is thought McLeod may have shot down and killed the 47 victory ace Heinz "Figaro" Golinski on 16 October 1942. [cite web|url=http://www.luftwaffe.cz/golinski.html|title=Heinz "Figaro" Golinski] The citation read:

quote|"Air Ministry, 3rd November, 1942."
ROYAL AIR FORCE.
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy: —
[...]
"Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross"
[...]
Acting Flight Lieutenant Henry Wallace McLEOD, D.F.C. (Can./J.4912), Royal Canadian Air Force.

One day in October, 1942, this officer took part in an attack on a formation of six Junkers 88's and shot two of them down. Although his aircraft was damaged in the combat he led his section in an attack on another formation of nine enemy bombers. Afterwards, he skilfully flew his damaged aircraft to base. During a period of five days Flight Lieutenant McLeod destroyed five enemy aircraft in the defence of Malta. A gallant fighter, this officer has destroyed 12 and damaged many more enemy aircraft. [LondonGazette|issue=35768|supp=yes|startpage=4753|endpage=4754|date=30 October 1942|accessdaymonth=3 June |accessyear=2008]

On 4 December 1942, it was reported that McLeod had been sent for a rest in Britain after destroying 13 enemy aircraft in three months. Included in his claims were seven Messerschmitt Bf 109s, three Junkers Ju 88s and three Macchi C.202. [cite web|url=http://acesofww2.com/Canada/aces/Mcleod.htm|title="Brilliant R.C.A.F. Pilot at Malta, H. W. McLeod in England for Rest"]

On 5 September 1944 McLeod was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order for 250 missions and 21 aerial victories, plus three probably destroyed and 12 damaged. McLeod scored most of his kills in the Spitfire Mk V, scoring 13 kills, two probables, 11 damaged and 1 shared damaged. [Price 1997, p. 82.] [cite web|url=http://acesofww2.com/Canada/aces/Mcleod.htm|title=Regina Airman awarded D.S.O.] The citation read:

quote|"Air Ministry 5th September, 1944."
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantrydisplayed in flying operations against the enemy:—
"Distinguished Service Order."
[...]
Acting Squadron Leader Henry Wallace McLEOD, D.F.C. (Can/J.4912), R.C.A.F., 443 (R.C.A.F.) Sqn.

This officer continues to display the highest standard of courage and resolution in air operations. He is an exceptional leader and a relentless fighter whose achievements are worthy of the highest praise. He has destroyed 17 enemy aircraft. [LondonGazette|issue=36686|supp=yes|startpage=4121|date=1 September 1944|accessdaymonth=3 June |accessyear=2008]

Death

On 27 September 1944, McLeod was leading his squadron on a patrol with the squadron of James "Johnnie" Johnson over Nijmegen, Netherlands. [Johnson 2000, p. 273.] During the action "Wally" went missing. Johnson made repeated calls over the R/T, but McLeod did not answer. After landing, Johnson could see his friend had not returned. Johnson "interrogated" the rest of the pilots. One of them had seen Wally chasing after a lone Messerschmitt. [Johnson 2000, p. 275.] Knowing McLeod well, Johnson believed he would have attacked regardless of the enemy fighter's advantage:

I feel certain that he wouldn't have let go of the 109 until the issue had been decided one way or the other. There was no other aircraft in the area [that Johnson had seen] and they must have fought it out together, probably above the cloud. To start with he would have been at a disadvantage, for the 109 was already several thousand feet higher. [Johnson 2000, p. 275.] I think the Messerschmitt got him. It was always all or nothing for Wally. [Johnson 2000, p. 278.]

After the war, McLeod was discovered dead in the wreckage of his Spitfire IX, in the outskirts of Wesel, near Duisberg, just inside the German border. He was buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Rheinberg. [ [http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2048046 Casualty details—McLeod, Henry Wallace] , Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 3 June 2008] McLeod may have been shot down by Major Siegfried Freytag of Jagdgeschwader 77 flying a Bf 109, who claimed on this day, the only Spitfire shot down in the Duisberg area near Wesel for his 101st victory. [ [http://www.luftwaffe.cz/freytag.html Siegfried Freytag] ]

Honours and tributes

In September 2002, a building at 15 Wing, the military air training base south of Moose Jaw was named for Henry Wallace McLeod. A McLeod Street in Regina’s industrial district is jointly named for him and for broadcaster Jim McLeod (no relation). [Chabun, Will. [http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/mcleod_henry_wallace_1917-44.html "McLeod, Henry Wallace (1917–44)."] "The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan", 2006.]

References

Notes

Bibiography

* [http://acesofww2.com/Canada/aces/Mcleod.htm Henry Wallace "Wally" Mcleod]
* Johnson, J.E. "Wing Leader". London: Goodall Publications Ltd., (original edition 1956), 2000. ISBN 0-907579-87-6.
* McCaffrey, Dan. "Air Aces: The Lives and Times of Twelve Canadian Fighter Pilots". Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, 1990. ISBN 1-55028-095-3.
* Price, Dr. Alfred. "Spitfire Mark V Aces 1941 - 1945". London: Osprey, 1997. ISBN 978-1-85532-635-4.
* Ralph, Wayne." Aces, Warriors and Wingmen: The Firsthand Accounts of Canada's Fighter Pilots in the Second World War". Toronto: Wiley, 2005. ISBN 0-47083-590-7.
* Shores, Christopher and Williams, Clive. "Aces High". London: Grub Street, 1994. ISBN 1-89869-700-0.


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