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The Airmen's Stories - F/O R M Milne


Richard Maxwell Milne was born in Edinburgh on 8th July 1919 and attended Cheltenham College from September 1931 to December 1935.

He joined the RAF in July 1937 on a short service commission. On 18th September he was posted to 11 FTS Wittering and on 7th May 1938 he joined the staff at 8 Armament Training Station at Evanton.

Milne went to 151 Squadron at North Weald on 26th January 1939. In May 1940 the squadron was using Vitry in France as an advanced landing ground. On the 17th Milne destroyed a Ju87, on the 18th a Me110 and on the 22nd another Ju87.



On 9th July Milne claimed a Me109 destroyed, on the 12th shared a Do17, on the 29th damaged a Me110, on 13th August destroyed two Do17s, on the 15th a Me109 and on the 18th a He111.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 30th August 1940).

Milne was married a few days later (below).


In November Milne went to CFS Upavon for an instructors course, after which he went to 8 E&RFTS at Woodley. He went back to CFS in early 1941, firstly as an instructor and later as a Flight Commander.

In mid-1941 Milne joined 92 Squadron at Biggin Hill as a Flight Commander and in September took command of the squadron. On the 27th he probably destroyed a Me109 and on 13th October claimed three more and damaged another.

Milne was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 11th November 1941).

On 19th January 1942 he took command of 222 Squadron at North Weald and led it until May, when he was rested from operations. In early January 1943 Milne was appointed Wing Leader at Biggin Hill.

On the 20th he destroyed a Fw190 and a Me109 and on 10th March destroyed another Fw190.

Milne destroyed a Fw 190 and was then himself shot down and captured on 14th March 1943 while leading the Wing on Rodeo 188 over Hardelot in France. His Spitfire IX, BS240, was shot down by Fw190s of JG26.

Freed in May 1945, he was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Wing Commander.

He joined English Electric and was closely involved in the development of the Canberra jet and its sale overseas, including it being built under licence in the US as the B-57.

Milne died in Andorra in 2004.


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