World War II

Following in the long military tradition of the Clan Maclean, nearly 1,000 of its American cousins served as military and civilian personnel during World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters. Of the 915 men and 42 women who served, the American Macleans are known to have sustained 229 casualties during the war, 179 of whom died as a result of the war and 12 were taken as Prisoners of War. 89 Macleans are known to have participated in Operation Overloard, commonly remembered as D-Day; only 17 casualties were sustained on D-Day, 16 of whom were killed or missing in action, and 1 was captured as Prisoners of War. The Macleans’ casualties represent .02% of all American casualties in WWII, and Maclean D-Day casualties represent .26% of all American casualties on D-Day.

Researchers at the Maclean History Project have confirmed that at least 26 American Macleans were present when Pearl Harbor was attacked. One of our cousins, James McLain, also fought at the Battle of Midway. Only two Macleans, brothers Edward and Mancel Lane who served aboard the U.S.S Arizona, were listed among the casualties. Macleans served at the U.S. Navy Yard, in the Naval Hospital, in the Patrol Squadrons 12 and 13, and aboard the following ships: U.S.S. Arizona, U.S.S. Castor, U.S.S. Dobbin, U.S.S. Honolulu, U.S.S. Maryland, U.S.S. Medusa, U.S.S. Pelias, U.S.S. Pennsylvania, U.S.S. Phoenix, U.S.S. Raleigh, U.S.S. San Francisco, U.S.S. Tennessee, U.S.S. Utah, U.S.S. Vestal, and U.S.S. Vireo.

Verified Statistics of American Macleans in World War II


Service in WWII – 958 Macleans
Killed in Action – 124 Macleans
Died in Service – 83 Macleans
Died of Wounds – 37 Macleans
Prisoner of War – 12 Macleans
Missing in Action – 1 Macleans

Known Service Distribution

490 Army
117 Army Air Force
223 Navy
50 Marine Corps
9 Coast Guard
13 Merchant Marines
29 Civilians

Major Battles

D-Day Invasion – 89 Macleans
Battle of the Bulge – 25 Macleans
Invasion of Pearl Harbor – 27 Macleans
Battle of Iwo Jima – 12 Macleans
Battle of Guadalcannal – 5 Macleans
Battle of Peleliu – 4 Macleans
Battle of Midway – 2 Macleans

Historic Groups and Efforts

1 – Manhattan Project
4 – Women Flying Service Pilot (WASP)
4 – Women Army Corp (WAAC/WAC)

Verified Awards

2 – Navy Cross
8 – Silver Star Medal
3 – Legion of Merit Medal
5 – Distinguished Flying Cross
28 – Bronze Star Medal
94 – Purple Heart Medal
8 – Air Medal
1 – Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
27 – Army Good Conduct Medal
4 – Navy Good Conduct Medal
1 – China Service Medal
5 – American Defense Service Medal
29 – American Campaign Medal
28 – European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
25 – Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
36 – World War II Victory Medal
5 – Army Occupation Medal
2 – French Croix de Guerre
1 – Philippine Defense Medal
5 – Philippine Liberation Medal
10 – Presidential Unit Citation