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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. W Middlemiss


William Middlemiss was born in Edinburgh on 10th January 1915 and educated there. He joined the RAF in November 1939 as an Airman u/t WOp/AG.

With his training completed he joined 235 Squadron, operating Blenheims, on 26th September 1940.

He went on to serve with 272 Squadron in 1941, flying shipping escort sorties from Aldergrove in Northern Ireland.



In May 1941 he was posted to the newly-formed 407 (RCAF) Squadron at Thorney Island, operating Lockheed Hudsons in the anti-shipping role, mostly off the Dutch coast.

The squadron moved to North Coates in July 1941. Off Den Helder on 28th December 1941 he was wounded by flak and admitted to hospital when the aircraft returned.

At some time in 1942 Middlemiss was posted to 279 Squadron at Bircham Newton, an air-sea rescue unit, he remained with them until early 1944.

Now a very experienced technician, he was involved in experiments to see if V1 flying bombs could be tracked and intercepted while still over the Channel. These were abandoned as the launch sites were overrun by the advancing allies and Middlemiss joined 1510 Blind Approach Beacon System Flight at Squires Gate as an instructor.

Middlemiss was awarded the AFC (gazetted 1st January 1946) as a Warrant Officer.

He stayed in the RAF and with this unit postwar, being gazetted as a Master Signaller on 1st September 1947. In 1951 he joined the Air Support Flight of RAF Transport Command in Egypt, supporting the resident parachute brigade and at risk from attack by hostile civilians.

He retired in 1952.

Middlemiss died in 1992.


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