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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. R Miller

 

Robert Miller was born on 8th November 1914, the eldest son of John Miller and Janet Simpson of Wester Cleish, Kinross. He had a sister, Jean, born in 1916, and brothers John in 1918 and Thomas James (Jimmy) in 1919.

He was educated at Kircaldy High School, apprenticed to Weirs Engineering in Alloa and went on to study engineering at Glasgow University, being awarded an Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1935. He was a member of the University Air Squadron.

 

Above image courtesy of Hugh Miller (son) via Roger Bragger.

 

Miller enlisted as an airman in the RAF on 24th August 1936 and was sent to 9 FTS Thornaby for training, being commissioned on 4th June 1938.

After completing his flying training he joined 72 Squadron at Church Fenton on 14th January 1939. Soon afterwards he was posted to HQ 12 Group where he was appointed PA to the AOC, Air Vice-Marshal Leigh-Mallory, this posting ended on 11th September 1939.

He went on to 616 Squadron, operating Spitfires at Leconfield. He damaged two Ju88s over Dunkirk on 1st June 1940. The last mention of him in 616’s ORB was on 1st July 1940, when Miller, F/O JS Bell and P/O J Brewster shared a He111.

On 29th July 1940 he joined 3 Squadron at Wick and flew his first sortie with the squadron on 4th August 1940, a convoy escort.

He moved from there on 27th January 1941 to 232 Squadron.

On 16th August 1941, now a Squadron Leader, Miller was appointed CO of 122 Squadron at Hornchurch.

He was killed on 24th April 1942 when his Spitfire Vb BL813 was shot down off Ostend by Fw190s during Circus 132.

He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 65.

 

 

 

Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner

 

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His brother TJ 'Jimmy' was serving with the 51st Highland Division in France in 1940. Once the route to Dunkirk was closed off by the Germans the Division, attached to the French Tenth Army, was ordered to fall back on Le Havre for evacuation. The majority never got that far and were bottled up and captured at St. Valery-en-Caux.

TJ Miller, with his sergeant and two local friends from the Stirling area, captured a German water bowser and drove it through enemy lines to Cherbourg where they were evacuated by ship. He was wounded and only he and his sergeant escaped alive.

 

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Additional research courtesy of Hugh Miller (son).

 


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