John McIntosh McClymont GC BEM (Direct Recipient)

b. 15/10/1903 Glasgow, Scotland. d. 10/06/1996 Ancaster, Ontario, Canada.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 18/01/1940 Bishopbriggs, Scotland.

John McIntosh McClymont (1903-1996) was born at 84 Main St,  Glasgow, Scotland on 15th October 1903. He was the son of Hugh McClymont and his wife Annie Eliza McIntosh. His father worked as a farm grieve. John left school at the age of 14 and emigrated to Canada in 1923, returning to Scotland to do forestry work in 1932, and sometime later he joined the Auxiliary Air Force (AAF). He was called up in 1939 to No 18 Balloon Centre, Glasgow and sent to a balloon site of No 947 (Balloon Barrage) Squadron. He qualified as a driver and quickly reclassified from Aircraftsman Class 2 to Aircraftsman Class 1 and then Leading Aircraftsman. He was then transferred to No 950 Squadron at Bishopbriggs and promoted to Corporal. Shortly afterwards the Squadron moved to Scapa Flow.

John M McClymont

On 18th January 1940, he was stationed at No 950 (BB) Squadron at Bishopbriggs when a Walrus amphibian, catapulted from HMS Norfolk, crashed at 18 Balloon Centre and burst into flames. McClymont was one of a group who ran to the burning aircraft and helped to rescue one of the airmen. As the flames were increasing in intensity, and ammunition and lights were continually exploding, everyone was ordered to stay away from the aircraft. McClymont heard the order but decided to make a single-handed rescue attempt. He succeeded in rescuing another airman just before the petrol tank exploded. His hands were badly burnt. Sadly, the other crew members couldnt be saved.

He was awarded the GC on 19th July 1940, and the burns to his hands he suffered eventually led to a discharge from the RAF on 25th February 1942. He returned to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1949 to return to forestry. His wife (Alice Jane Irwin nee McLay) joined him a year later. He then took up a job with International Harvester Company as a security officer, retiring in 1968.

McClymont died on 10th June 1996 and was cremated and his ashes were interred at Bethesda United Church Cemetery, Ancaster, Ontario. His medal group including his GC, Defence Medal 1939-45, War Medal 1939-45, 1953 QEII Coronation Medal and 1977 QEII Silver Jubilee Medal are held by the RAF Museum, Hendon.