About the product

Arctic Star Group Merchant Navy

Arctic Star, With recipients full WW2 Medal Group mounted for wear, John Edward McLean, Merchant Navy Seaman. Died in Queensland, Australia.

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SKU: J8813 Category:
Origin: United Kingdom
Nearly Extremely Fine


Arctic Star, With recipients full WW2 Medal Group mounted for wear, John Edward McLean, Merchant Navy Seaman. 


Arctic Star, an original example, in named plastic box of issue the label reading: “ARCTIC STAR J E MCLEAN”


WW2 Group consisting of: 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star with clasp France and Germany, Africa Star, with clasp North Africa, Italy Star, 1939-45 War Medal.

Clasps are tailor’s copies, medals modern mounted for wear prior to issue of Arctic Star.


John Edward McLean was born on 28th February 1922.


As a young man on the 1939 Census, he was living with the Harrey Family in Euston, St Pancras, where he worked as a Porter for a Tailor.


He served in the Merchant Navy with number R267805.


The medal entitlement matches the National Archives Medal Rolls exactly including all the medals and clasps.


With copies of his service records from the National Archives, BT372 Seamen’s Pouch with photographs of him and his identity card etc, note the original photographed ID Card is held at the National Archives in Kew.


Detail into his services on the Ocean Traveller during this period is contained in the the book “The Ocean Class of the Second World War” by Malcolm Cooper.


Saw the following service during his career:


Ocean Traveller: 26th February 1943 – 9th April 1945

Empire Paladin: 23rd May 1945 – 22nd Sept 1945

M.N.R.P 15th March 1947

Fulham IV, 17th March 1947

Marsworth, 2nd April 1947

Graspool, 4th June 1947

F.T. Winnebago, 25th Aug 1947 

Thalamus, 14th Nov 1947

Lord Glanely, 16th July 1948

HMS Themston, 15th Nov 1949

John H. Senior, 7th Dec 1948

Holborn Head, 26 Feb 1949

Matadian, 11th March 1949

Suffolk Ferry, 16th May 1949.


Looks like he was discharged at his own request on 5th July 1949.


He started off originally as a Fireman before becoming an Efficient Deck Hand by July 1945. He mostly remained as an E.D.H. before returning to “Able Seaman” or A.B. from 1948-49.


Following the war he remained in England for a few more years until at least 1956.


He later died in Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia on 31st August 2009.




Noted on one of his various trips to New York in America, on board the S.S. Ocean Traveller, on 5th September 1943, coming from Bone, Algeria. (Africa Star)


A further shipping entry from 19th February 1945, This time he landed in New York on 19th February 1945, on board the Ocean Traveller, having sailed from Volo in Greece.


According to New York USA Shipping Records, during 1945 John was an “E.D.H.” or Efficient Deck Hand on board the S.S. Empire Paladin, arriving at New York from Glasgow on 27th June 1945.






A newly built American Ship part of the “Ocean” line of ships built in USA for the British Ministry of War Transport.


60 Oceans were built, and 18 of them were lost to enemy action during the war, with another 8 lots to accidents post war.


The Ocean Traveller and her sister ships are noted on a number of British Convoys.


According to the book “The Ocean Class of the Second World War” by Malcolm Cooper, the ship saw a number of convoy duties around this period.


Ocean Traveller had done the UK-North Africa (KMS 20) route convoy on 30th June 1943, and on 31st December 1943, noted on the Buenos Aires River Plate – West Africa – UK Route Convoy.