Malcolm MacLeod was born January 28, 1915 in L’Orignal, the youngest son of Duncan and Eleonora MacLeod. Malcolm grew up in the district, attending High school in Hawkesbury. He was affectionately known as Mackie and worked as a front office clerk at the Seigniory Club (Chateau Montebello). When war broke out he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force
on May 5, 1941 at the age of 26.
Mackie trained in Canada at St-Eugene, Uplands, Trenton, St-Hubert, and Jarvis. He was appointed to be an officer in the active Force of the Dominion of Canada on September 18, 1943 and was given the rank of Pilot Officer. Mackie left to go overseas, and trained on the Lancaster bomber. He was a member of the Iroquois Squadron #431. His first bombing mission was December 15th, 1944. On Mackie’s 10th mission on January 15th, 1945, he and his crew were in a mid-air collision with a German M.E. 109 fighter aircraft. Mackie’s plane exploded and crashed near the target at Merseburg, Germany. Only one of the crew of seven men, the tail gunner, survived. Mackie’s family at home in L’Orignal received word that their son was missing in action.
His wife, Joan (née Kirby) was left with their young son Ross, 22 months of age.
Mackie and his crew are buried at the Berlin War Cemetery, Charlottenburg, Germany. Joan and Mackie’s son, Ross have visited this grave in recent years as has Mackie’s grand daughter Erin. The memory of a beloved son, husband, father and grandfather lives on.
- 1939-1945 Star
- France and Germany Star
- Defence Medal
- Canadian Volunteer Service Medal
- 939-1945 War Medal
A Granddaughter's Testimonial
On November 11, 2005 during a celebratory mass for the Year of the Veterans, in St-Jean-Baptiste church in L'Orignal, On, we had the honor of hearing a poignant testimonial written by 12-year-old Erin MacLeod, Malcolm’s granddaughter.
“The Grandfather I Never Knew
Reaching into my pockets to search for a coin, a coin to buy a blood red plastic poppy. Others walk by without a thought to purchase what means so much to me. As I pin the poppy to the breast of my jacket I turn my head and see my father kneeling down in front of the drab grey concrete monument. For as long as I can remember, every year my father comes here to pray. To pray for his father who was lost in the war.
Shivering from the cold I rub my hands together and walk over the monument to meet my father as he rises to look my way, Then I hug him as tight as I can to my body wondering if how much I love him can make up for the love he never had.
I have seen my grandmother search through boxes of nostalgia many times, reminiscing about the past. Letters unanswered, his hat that he wore so proudly, his medals, medals for bravery and valor, pictures of my grandfather, but I know which one is so precious to her every time she sees it she holds it to her heart.
It is a worn, yellowed picture of a man and his young son smiling without a care in the world. This picture of my father with the father he hardly remembers. Then my grandmother raises her hand to wipe the tear that is running down her cheek.
I can’t help wishing that my grandfather is alive but I know he isn’t. His plane crashed over Germany on his last mission, his last flight before returning to his family and his beloved wife. Of the eight men on that plane only one survived. I can’t imagine losing seven of my friends. Killed right before my eyes.
Then I cry. I cry for the father my father never had a chance to love. I cry for the grandmother who lost the one she loved most. I cry for the man who lost the best friends he ever had and most of all I cry for the bravest man I never knew.”
With permission from Erin MacLeod
Think not of us as lost, we who have flown on past the tumbled blackness of the sky. Think only of the goal, for we have found it. To go into the light is not to die.
This short poem is written in honour of Malcolm Alexander MacLeod on a memorial plaque in Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Hawkesbury.