Duncan Grinnell-Milne


Duncan Grinnell-Milne
Duncan Grinnell-Milne
Born 1896
Bromley, London, England
Died November 1973 (aged 76 or 77)
Westminster, London, England
Allegiance United Kingdom British Empire
Service/branch Royal Flying Corps
Years of service 1914 – 1926; 1939 – 1940
Rank Captain
Unit Rifle Brigade, Royal Fusiliers,
No. 16 Squadron RFC
No. 56 Squadron RFC
No. 214 Squadron RAF, No. 14 Squadron RAF
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Military Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross & Bar
Other work BBC, Author

Captain Duncan William Grinnell-Milne MC, DFC & Bar (1896 – 1973) was an English First World War pilot credited with six confirmed aerial victories, a prisoner of war, a flying ace and an author who successfully escaped from German captivity. Initially serving with the 7th Bn Royal Fusiliers, he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps before joining the Royal Air Force.

Contents

World War I

Grinnell-Milne was commissioned in the Rifle Brigade at age 18 in 1914. He was considered too young for frontline service. In an effort to evade this restriction, he transferred to the Royal Fusiliers, and from there to the Royal Flying Corps. He underwent pilot's training, was posted to 16 Squadron, and flew a Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2 to victory over an Albatros on 28 November 1915. He was subsequently shot down on 16 May 1916,[1] and spent over two years as a prisoner of war. He finally escaped and returned to aerial combat at the end of the war. From 5 October through 3 November 1918, he won five more times; his final tally was a reconnaissance plane, three Fokker D.VIIs, and an observation balloon destroyed, and a D.VII driven down out of control.[2]

Between the wars

Grinnell-Milne was assigned to 214 Squadron in Egypt in 1919. He moved on to 14 Squadron the next year. His last assignment was Assistant Air Attaché in Paris. By the time he left the RAF in 1926, he had flown 60 different aircraft types and had amassed over 2,000 hours flight time.[3]

World War II

He returned to service during World War II, and flew several missions over Libya. He was then invalided out. He joined the British Broadcast Corporation and stayed with them through 1946.[4]

Public Citations & Awards

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

Lieut. (A./Capt.) Duncan Grinnell-Milne. (FRANCE)

This officer has shown exceptional gallantry and disregard of danger on numerous occasions, notably on 5th October, when he obtained a direct hit on a train with a bomb; he then attacked and destroyed in flames a balloon on the ground. On his return journey he attacked troops and transport with marked success, dropping his last bomb in the middle of a crowd of enemy troops.

Supplement to the London Gazette, 8 February 1919 (31170/2039)

Sources of information

  1. ^ Pusher Aces of World War 1.. p. 27. 
  2. ^ Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. pp. 177–178. 
  3. ^ Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. pp. 177–178. 
  4. ^ Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. pp. 177–178. 

References

  • Above the Trenches: a Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. Christopher F. Shores, Norman L. R. Franks, Russell Guest. Grub Street, 1990. ISBN 0948817194, 9780948817199.
  • Pusher Aces of World War 1. Jon Guttman, Harry Dempsey. Osprey Pub Co, 2009. ISBN 1846034175, 9781846034176.

Further reading

  • Wind in the Wires by Duncan Grinnell-Milne
  • An Escaper's Log by Duncan Grinnell-Milne
  • Silent Victory by Duncan Grinnell-Milne

External links


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