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Name: Donald Roderick MacLaren Balloon-Buster
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Military Cross (MC) and Bar
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Donald MacLaren Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur
Croix de Guerre with Palm
Country: Canada
Rank: Major
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Units: 46
Victories: 54
Born: 28 May 1893
Place of Birth: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Died: 04 July 1988
Place of Death: Burnaby, British Columbia
 
 
   The son of Robert James and Mary Jeanie MacLaren, Donald Roderick MacLaren's family moved from Ottawa to Calgary, Alberta, in 1900, where MacLaren attended public schools and Western Canada College. In 1911, his family moved to Vancouver. MacLaren attended McGill University in Montreal from 1912 to 1914, but left the university due to an illness and returned to Vancouver where he completed a surveyor's course and worked as a fur trapper for several years with his father.
   MacLaren joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. With 54 victories, he was the highest scoring ace to fly the Sopwith Camel. MacLaren scored his final victory on 9 October 1918. His combat career came to an end the following day when he broke his leg while wrestling with a friend. Following the Armistice, he helped form the Royal Canadian Air Force before retiring to begin a career in civil aviation. MacLaren became superintendent of Canadian Airways, Ltd. before being named Assistant to the Vice-President in charge of operations for Trans-Canada Airlines in 1937. He was also the founding father of the Air Cadet League of Canada and was invested into Canada's aviation hall of fame in 1977.

Also listed as Donald Rodrick MacLaren in the London Gazette.
 
Military Cross (MC)
T./2nd Lt. Donald Rodrick MacLaren, Gen. List and R.F.C.
   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On one occasion, when on low bombing work, he bombed a long-range enemy gun 9,000 yards behind the lines, obtaining from a height of 200 feet two direct hits on the gun truck and two on the railway track alongside. When returning to our lines he encountered a hostile two-seater machine, which he shot down crashing to earth. He then attacked a balloon, which burst into flames, and finally, observing another enemy two-seater plane, he engaged it and eventually succeeded in crashing it to earth. He has set an excellent example of gallantry and skill to his squadron.
 
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lieut. (T./Capt.) Donald Roderick MacLaren, M.C.
   Accompanied by two other pilots, this officer attacked four enemy aeroplanes; all of these were destroyed; he himself fought two down to within 200 feet of the ground, destroying both. The two pilots who were with him each accounted for one of the remaining two. It was a well-conceived manoeuvre ably carried out, reflecting credit on all concerned. This officer has in four and a half months accounted for 37 hostile aircraft and six balloons, displaying great resolution and exceptional tactical ability.
 
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Lieut. (A./Capt.) Donald Roderick MacLaren, M.C., D.F.C. (FRANCE)
   Bold in attack and skilful in manoeuvre, Captain MacLaren is conspicuous for his success in aerial combats. On 24th September he and his patrol of three machines attacked a formation of six enemy scouts, although the latter were protected by sixteen other enemy aircraft at a higher altitude. Firing a burst at point-blank range, this officer shot down one in flames. In all he has accounted for forty eight enemy machines and six kite balloons.
 
Opponents
#53 GermanySylwester Garsztka
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 06 Mar 1918 1345 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) Hannover C (OOC) E of Douai
2 10 Mar 1918 0730 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) Albatros D.V (DES) W of Graincourt
3 21 Mar 1918 1615 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) Balloon (DES) Biache St. Vaast
4 21 Mar 1918 1630 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) LVG C (DES) W of Douai
5 21 Mar 1918 1645 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) LVG C (DES) E of Marquion
6 22 Mar 1918 1400 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) C (OOC) Bullecourt
7 22 Mar 1918 1500 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) C (OOC) 1 Bullecourt
8 23 Mar 1918 0900 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) Albatros C (OOC) N of Croisilles
9 23 Mar 1918 0900 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) Albatros C (OOC) 2 N of Croisilles
10 23 Mar 1918 1300 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) C (DES) Bullecourt
11 24 Mar 1918 46 Sopwith Camel Balloon (DES)  
12 25 Mar 1918 1715 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) C (DES)  
13 27 Mar 1918 1530 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) Junkers J.I (OOC) 57 D Q 12
14 02 Apr 1918 1245 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) C (DES) 3 Courcelles
15 02 Apr 1918 1315 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) Balloon (DES) 4  
16 21 Apr 1918 1100 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) Albatros D.V (OOC) Acheville
17 03 May 1918 1230 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) LVG C (DES) S of Bailleul
18 03 May 1918 1300 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) Halberstadt C (DES) 5 NW of Don
19 04 May 1918 1800 46 Sopwith Camel (B9153) Albatros D.V (OOC) 6 N of Bullecourt
20 06 May 1918 1800 46 Sopwith Camel DFW C (CAP) 7 St. Venant
21 08 May 1918 1900 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Albatros D.V (OOC) N of Laventie
22 09 May 1918 1915 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Pfalz D.III (OOC) Neuf Berquin
23 15 May 1918 1245 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Pfalz D.III (OOC) Armentières
24 15 May 1918 1245 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Pfalz D.III (OOC) Armentières
25 20 May 1918 1700 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) DFW C (DES) 8 N of La Bassée
26 20 May 1918 1705 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Balloon (DES) S of Steenwerck
27 20 May 1918 1705 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Balloon (DES) S of Steenwerck
28 23 May 1918 46 Sopwith Camel Pfalz D.III (OOC) S of Armentières
29 26 May 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) C (DES) Laventie
30 28 May 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Albatros D.V (OOC) N of Laventie
31 30 May 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Pfalz D.III (OOC) Estaires
32 31 May 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Pfalz D.III (OOC) N of Estaires
33 02 Jun 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Albatros D.V (OOC) E of Laventie
34 07 Jun 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Pfalz D.III (DES) S of Armentières
35 01 Jul 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) C (DES) E of Neuve Chapelle
36 08 Jul 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Fokker D.VII (OOC) 9 Fromelles
37 08 Jul 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6418) Fokker D.VII (OOC) SE of Merville
38 15 Jul 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6603) DFW C (DES) W of Neuve Chapelle
39 19 Jul 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6603) Balloon (DES) S of Estaires
40 22 Jul 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6603) Albatros D.V (DES) Bailleul
41 22 Jul 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6603) Albatros D.V (DES) Bailleul
42 01 Aug 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6603) C (DES) 10 Armentières
43 24 Aug 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6603) DFW C (OOC) E of Bray
44 25 Aug 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6603) DFW C (DES) 11 E of Delville Wood
45 26 Aug 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (D6603) Fokker D.VII (DES) Hendecourt
46 15 Sep 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (F2137) Fokker D.VII (OOC) N of Gouzeaucourt
47 16 Sep 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (F2137) Fokker D.VII (DESF) 12 Cambrai
48 16 Sep 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (F2137) Fokker D.VII (OOC) Cambrai
49 17 Sep 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (F2137) Fokker D.VII (OOC) 13 Cambrai
50 17 Sep 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (F2137) Fokker D.VII (OOC) 13 Cambrai
51 26 Sep 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (F2137) Fokker D.VII (DES) Havrincourt
52 29 Sep 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (F2137) Fokker D.VII (OOC) 14 Near Le Cateau
53 02 Oct 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (F2137) Fokker D.VII (OOC) 15 Morcourt
54 09 Oct 1918 46 Sopwith Camel (F2137) C (DES) W of Ricqueval Wood

1 Shared with Capt Cecil Marchant
2 Shared with 2Lt H P Blakely (B5435), 2Lt John Smith
3 Shared with Capt Sydney Smith, Lt Alexander Vlasto, Lt Horace Debenham, 2Lt Roy McConnell
4 Shared with 2Lt John Smith
5 Shared with 2Lt Victor Yeates
6 Shared with Lt Roy McConnell, Lt H L M Dodson (C1643)
7 Shared with Capt Cecil Marchant, 2Lt John Smith, 2Lt Victor Yeates, 2Lt H T W Manwaring
8 Shared with Lt C R Chapman (B9253)
9 Shared with Lt Roy McConnell
10 Shared with Maj A H O'Hara Wood (F5950), Lt Roy McConnell, 2Lt L S Skerrington
11 Shared with Lt P F Paton (D1942)
12 Shared with Lt R Viall (F1971), Lt Cyril Sawyer
13 Shared with 2Lt R D Gilpin Brown (F5950), Lt Philip Tudhope, Lt Cyril Sawyer, Capt Charles Odell, 2Lt L S Skerrington (F6330)
14 Shared with Lt Cyril Sawyer
15 Shared with Capt James Leith, Lt Cyril Sawyer
 
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