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The Airmen's Stories - F/O M J Miley


Miles John Miley was born at Whitchurch, Hampshire, on 27th July 1918, elder son of Group Captain Arnold John Miley OBE (Air Attache, British Embassy, Buenos Aires) and Roberte Marie Mathilde Miley (née Legal), of Felixstowe, Suffolk.

Miley attended Oaklands Court School at St. Peter-in-Thanet near Broadstairs before going on to Sherborne School (School House) from April 1932 to July 1936. He was a Prefect, a member of the 1st XV rugby football team 1935 and captain of the shooting viii team in 1934, 1935 and 1936.

He entered RAF College, Cranwell in September 1936 as a Flight Cadet. On graduation in July 1938 he joined 25 Squadron at Hawkinge. Miley was still with the squadron in early July 1940. He was attached to the Air Fighting Development Unit at Northolt on 15th August.




In the early evening of 15th September he was flying in Beaufighter R2067 with F/Lt. HMS Lambert and LAC JP Wyatt.

The aircraft crashed near Layhams Farm, NW of Biggin Hill at 6.20 pm and all three men on board were killed.

It has never been established whether the crash was an accident or the result of enemy action. On that day Feldwebel Neuhoff of JG53 claimed a Blenheim destroyed but none was reported lost on the 15th.

Miley was 22. He is buried in St Andrew's churchyard, North Weald, Essex.




Obituary from 'The Shirburnian', December 1944:

Miles John Miley, son of Group Captain AJ Miley RAF, came to Sherborne in 1932 and left in 1936 with a Prize Cadetship to the RAF College, Cranwell with a very distinguished career behind him. A member of the VIth, a School Prefect and very prominent forward of the 1st XV and Captain of the Shooting VIII. With this record behind him it was no surprise to hear he had won a Prize Cadetship at Cranwell and has represented the College in Rugby Football. His subsequent career fully justified this early promise. My last conversation was actually some years after he left in the early days of the war. On the afternoon of that day we had noticed a machine flying very low over the playing fields. The boys of No.7 had been rather startled by observing the window of an aeroplane detach itself from the machine and come hurtling down not far from a group of players. Miley rang me up from Bristol that evening to enquire whether any boys had been killed during the course of the afternoon. I was able to reply in the negative, but told him I would like to have a further talk about the incident on his next visit on foot to Sherborne. He replied, laughingly, that he would come and face the music as soon as opportunity offered. Alas! that opportunity never came. Shortly after this incident he was moved to the Defence of London and a few weeks later we heard with very deep regret of his death in action. Sherborne and the Country have without doubt lost thereby an officer of quite unusual promise. He was most certainly destined to go to the very top of his profession. It was to men like this that Great Britain owed her deliverance in those early hard-pressed days.'

Additional research courtesy of Sherborne School Archives.


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