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MAJ Donald Roderick MacLaren

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MAJ Donald Roderick MacLaren

  • Birth 28 May 1893 Ottawa, Ottawa Municipality, Ontario, Canada
  • Death 4 Jul 1988 Burnaby, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
  • Burial Burnaby, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
  • Memorial ID 97100617

Donald Roderick MacLaren, (awards: DSO, MC & Bar, DFC) was a Canadian World War I flying ace. He was credited with 54 victories and post war he helped to found the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Allegiance: United Kingdom
Service/branch: Royal Flying Corps (RFC)

What is the RFC?
(The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War.*)

Donald R. MacLaren, was the son of Robert James and Mary Jeanie MacLaren of Canada. The MacLaren's family lived in Ottawa province of Ontario where he was born 1893, the family moved to Calgary province of Alberta in 1899, and then they moved to Vancouver BC 1911. Donald then attended McGill University of Montreal in Quebec from 1912 to 1914.

Donald left the university in 1914 due to an illness and returned to Vancouver where he completed a surveyor's course. He worked as a fur trapper with his father and brother at Peace River in the Rocky Mountains (provinces of BC and Alberta). His father had acquired a fur trading post at the Peace River and it was during this time period when Donald learned to speak Cree which is an Algonquian language spoken by about 117,000 people across Canada, from the Northwest Territories and Alberta.

Donald, joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. With 54 victories, he was the highest scoring WW1 ace to fly the Sopwith Camel. MacLaren scored his final victory on October 9th, 1918.

Donald MacLaren, became superintendent of Canadian Airways, before being named Assistant to the Vice-President in charge of operations for Trans-Canada Airlines in 1937.

MacLaren finished the war with a Military Cross and bar, a 'Distinguished Flying Cross' and the DSO. He was also awarded the 'French Legion of Honour' and 'Croix de guerre' both from France.

DSO: Distinguished Service Order for his leadership of the squadron in the last months of the war.

(* definition of RFC came "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia")


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  • Created by: Troll'sBridge
  • Added: 15 Sep 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 97100617
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for MAJ Donald Roderick MacLaren (28 May 1893–4 Jul 1988), Find A Grave Memorial no. 97100617, citing Ocean View Burial Park, Burnaby, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada ; Maintained by Troll'sBridge (contributor 47862965) .