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The Airmen's Stories - S/Ldr. R S Mills


Randolph Stuart Mills was born on 20th October 1909 and attended Imperial Service College.

He joined the RAF in January 1927 as an Aircraft Apprentice and passed out in December 1929 as a Fitter, Aero Engines.

He later applied for pilot training and was selected. Mills was a Sergeant-Pilot when he was granted a permanent commission on 21st May 1936. He joined 17 Squadron at Kenley on 3rd June and moved to the Station Flight at Northolt on 1st February 1937.

Mills was posted from HQ Fighter Command to join 263 Squadron at its formation at Filton on 2nd October 1939 as 'A' Flight Commander. He was detached to AFDU Northolt on 2nd January 1940 for an Air Fighting Course. He rejoined 263 on the 14th.





Mills went with the squadron to Norway in April 1940 and on the 25th he destroyed a He111, shared in the destruction of a second and damaged a third.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 10th May 1940).

In Norway again in May, Mills was wounded and in hospital when 263’s pilots embarked on HMS Glorious on 6th June to return to the UK. They were all lost when the carrier was sunk on the way back by the Scharnhorst and Gneisanau on the 8th.

The squadron reformed at Drem and Mills was temporary CO until 6th July 1940. Mills was posted away to 87 Squadron at Exeter on 18th August. He took command of 87 Squadron on the 24th and was promoted to Acting Squadron Leader.

Mills assumed temporary command of RAF Exeter on 13th September 1940 when W/Cdr. JS Dewar was lost, relinquishing it on 5th October when W/Cdr. HS Darley arrived to take command.

He was posted away on 24th December 1940 to RAF Colerne.

Mills later went to the USA as Assistant Air Attache to develop British training facilities. The RAF eventually had six schools there. Mills personally briefed Roosevelt at the White House on European operations.

He did not return to the UK until 1945.

Mills retired from the RAF on 20th October 1956 as a Wing Commander retaining the rank of Group Captain.

Mills died on 10th January 1996.


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