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The Airmen's Stories - P/O D E Mileham


Denys Edgar Mileham of Boxmoor, Hertfordshire was born in 1920, he had two brothers and three sisters.

Denys's father was Edgar Charles Mileham, born in 1876 and educated at Dulwich College, a London solicitor, living in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. Denys's paternal grandfather was Harry Thomas Mileham (1838-1920), a City solicitor, living in Beckenham, Kent.

His mother was Erna Gladys Irene Mileham (nee Berk).

Mileham attended Berkhamsted School and joined the RAFVR about July 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He did his initial flying training at Luton. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training and was commissioned on 1st February 1940.



Initially he was posted to 26 Squadron, a Lysander army co-operation unit. The squadron was sent to France with the BEF but withdrawn on 20th May after heavy losses. It is believed that Mileham served there for about a week. Mileham volunteered for Fighter Command and was posted to 7 OTU on 21st August 1940. After converting to Spitfires he joined 610 Squadron at Westhampnett on 3rd September 1940.

He moved to 41 Squadron (picture below) at Hornchurch on the 29th and claimed a Me109 destroyed on 5th October.



Back row: F/O HC Baker, F/O DA Adams, P/O MF Briggs, Sgt. EV Darling, F/O JN McKenzie, F/O ADJ Lovell (in cockpit)

 Front row: P/O DE Mileham, F/Lt. EN Ryder, Sgt. RA Angus, S/Ldr. DO Finlay, Sgt. TWR Healy, Sgt. JS Gilders, P/O EP Wells, Sgt. RC Ford


In February 1941 he was posted as an instructor to 58 OTU Grangemouth, this was followed by further instructing in Wales.

In March 1942 he was posted to 234 Squadron at Ibsley as a Flight Commander, the squadron numbered several Danish pilots. Mileham was killed on 15th April 1942 as a Flight Lieutenant in Spitfire Vb AB987. The squadron ORB records:

The squadron gave close escort to nine Boston aircraft in an attack on Cherbourg harbour. Six of our aircraft were attacked as they left the target by Me109s. F/Lt. Mileham and P/O Simon are missing from this operation. Subsequent searching by our aircraft and Lysanders failed to report anything of interest.

From post-war examination of Luftwaffe claims it seems likely that he was shot down by either Oblt. E Mayer or by Uffz. W Beckers of 7./JG2.

It was six months before Mileham could be confirmed as killed.

Mileham was 22 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 66.

Mileham's family home was Old Fishery House, Boxmoor, Hertfordshire. His father, Edgar Charles Mileham, a solicitor, died at that address in 1951.




Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner.


Additional research courtesy of Philip Mileham.


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