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Paul Johnson

Major Gerald Desmond MILLS MID

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Paul Johnson

Gerald Desmond MILLS MID

Major

19 Squadron. Royal Flying Corps

Killed on the 19th May 1917 aged 26

The youngest son of Canon Mills of Benington Rectory. Educated at Haileybury College and later at Sandhurst. Gerald was commissioned into the Notts & Derbys Regiment in October 1910.

His elder brother, 2/Lt. G.E.Mills had been killed in action with the 1st Battalion of the Notts. & Derbys Regiment at Moedwil on the 30th September 1901 during the Boer war.

Gerald served for over three years in India and returned to the UK in March 1914 to join the RFC. On the 7th April 1915 he went to France as a Flight Commander where he was mentioned in dispatches. He returned as an instructor at Central Flying School in January 1916 and was gazetted a Squadron Commander in April of that year. After being appointed to the Air Board office in March 1917 he applied to return to active service and he returned to France on the 15th May 1917.

19 Squadron was based at Vert Galand and four days after he arrived in France Gerald was killed in an accident whilst flying a Spad S7 (A6749).

He is buried at Doullens Cemetery, France.

My questions are;

1. Does anyone know anything about the MID?

2. Any details of the accident available?

Thank You

PAUL JOHNSON

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Dolphin

Capt G D Mills of No 7 Sqn RFC was flying RE5 737 on 28 April 1915, with Lt Murray as observer, when he was involved in combat with an LVG.

On 21 July 1915, Capt Mills was flying RE 5 2458 with 2Lt R C McPherson as observer when he fought an unidentified enemy aircraft.

On 18 September 1915, Capt Mills was flying RE5 2457 with 2Lt Layton as observer when he was attacked by a Fokker.

On 26 September 1915, again in 2457 with 2Lt Layton, Capt Mills had a fight with an Albatros 2 miles south of Lille.

On 16 November 1916, flying a single seat Bristol Scout, Capt Mills attacked an Albatros over the Forest d'Houthulst. He fired one round from his Lewis gun before it jammed. Being unable to clear his weapon, he was forced to break off the combat.

The last action was reported in RFC Communique No 20.

I hope this helps.

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Paul Johnson

Thank you very much for your help. The info is of great use to me in completing my research.

Regards

PAUL JOHNSON :ph34r:

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Dolphin

I apologise for an error in my earlier post. Capt Mills' combat in the Albatros when he was flying the Bristol Scout was, of course, in 1915, not 1916.

These hot summer nights don't aid one's concentration!

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Paul Johnson

:ph34r: Thank you for the update. I want to make sure I get my facts right.

Regards

PAUL JOHNSON

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Dolphin

Paul

You might be interested to know that the aircraft flown by Captain Mills on 18 September 1915, RE5 2457, was the machine used by Captain John Aidan Liddell on 31 July for an action which resulted in his being awarded the Victoria Cross. Capt Liddell and his observer, 2Lt R H Peck, were on a reconnaissance mission when they were attacked by a German two seater. Liddell was badly injured and lost consciousness for a period, while the aircraft was damaged. Despite his wounds, Liddell flew back to Allied territory, landing at the Belgian aerodrome at La Panne.

Unfortunately, Captain Liddell died from his wounds on 31 August.

2457 is illustrated in Alex Revell’s ‘Victoria Cross: WWI Airmen and Their Aircraft” and a copy of the drawing by the great Bob Pearson is below.

2457 stayed with No 7 Sqn until 26 November, when it was transferred to No 12 Sqn. It then went to an Aircraft Park on 12 December before being sent back to the UK on 30 December. After a period of service with No 7 Reserve Sqn at Netheravon it was either wrecked or broken up.

Dolphin

post-25-1076301192.jpg

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Paul Johnson

Thank you very much for all of this info.

I will put it to good use.

Kind Regards

PAUL JOHNSON :ph34r:

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