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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. R A Milburn


Reginald Alan Milburn was born on 7th June 1916 in Purley. He was awarded Aero certificate 13443 on 27th November 1935, his occupation being recorded as stockbroker.



He joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his initial training on 11th May 1936. He completed his training but then resigned his commission on 1st December 1937.

Milburn rejoined the RAFVR in January 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training and arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down about 25th September 1940.

He had married Audrey Ruth Peachment in April 1940 in Manchester.

After converting to Hurricanes Milburn joined 601 Squadron at Exeter on 10th October. He made his first flight on the 11th.


Above image courtesy of the collection of F/O R Watson.


He moved to 87 Squadron at Church Fenton on the 31st. Milburn was posted to the Middle East on 30th January 1941 and joined 274 Squadron in the Western Desert on 6th April 1941.

His subsequent service is currently undocumented.




After the end of the war Milburn teamed up with Charles BG Peachment, who had served in the Battle with 236 Squadron and was almost certainly Milburns's brother-in-law.

They formed an air charter company, Milburn Air Ltd., and purchased Airspeed AS.65 Consul G-AIOZ.

On 29th April 1947 this aircraft crashed at Botley Hill, Tatsfield, near Limpsfield, Surrey whilst en route from Le Bourget to Croydon. Milburn, the pilot, and John Hale, wireless operator, were both killed.

The inquest was told that Milburn was found to have atheroma of the coronary arteries, very unusual for someone of his age. However the most likely cause of the crash was the pilot descending in poor visiblity to ascertain his position and striking high ground.


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