The Airmen's Stories - P/O W H Millington
William Henry Millington was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 11th August 1917 but was taken to Australia as a small child. The family settled at Edwardstown, South Australia.
He returned to England as a candidate for an RAF short service commission in June 1939. After completing his flying training Millington arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 1st June 1940 and after converting to Hurricanes he was posted to 79 Squadron at Biggin Hill on the 17th.
Millington claimed a Me109 destroyed on 9th July, three He111s destroyed on 15th August, a He111 destroyed, another probably destroyed and a Me110 damaged on the 30th and a Do17 and two Me109s destroyed and another damaged on the 31st.
On this day his Hurricane, P3050, was set alight in combat with Me109s over Romney. Millington crash-landed on Conghurst Farm, Hawkhurst, wounded in the left thigh and badly burned. He was later admitted to Croydon Hospital.
He could have baled out but chose to steer his aircraft away from a village. He got out just before the petrol tanks exploded.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 1st October 1940).
Millington was posted to 249 Squadron at North Weald on 19th September. He claimed a Ju88 destroyed and another shared on the 27th, probable Me109s on 7th and 25th October, a shared Ju88 and a Do17 damaged on the 28th and another probable Me109 on the 29th.
Above and below: Millington and P/O TF Neil with the squadron pets Wilfred, a duck, and Pipsqueak, a terrier.
Millington was in combat with enemy fighters over the Channel on 30th in Hurricane I V7536 but failed to return.
He was 23 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 9.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner