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Thread: Cecil Dunn MILNE, DFC (33273)

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    Default Cecil Dunn MILNE, DFC (33273)

    Could anyone tell me what nationality Cecil Dunn MILNE was please. Was he Canadian? He isn't listed in "Canadians in the RAF".

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Andy,

    No, not a Canadian. 'Snowy' Milne was a New Zealander in the RAF. He was born at Petone 2 July 1916.

    Out of curiosity, why do you ask?

    Errol

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    Hi Errol,

    On going research into pilots who flew with 212 Sqn.

    Many thanks

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    hello Andy and Errol,

    I have his PoW questionnaire (WO 344 series at Kew). He wrote he was captured at/near Stuttgart. It doesn't contain much details anyway.

    I was interested too because his unit was based at Lille during the Phoney war.

    Joss

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    Andy/Joss,

    Milne entered the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice (No.?) at Halton in Jan 1932 following selection in New Zealand. A brother, Deryck had entered Halton two years earlier.

    He then gained a cadetship at Cranwell, entering there in Jan 1935 and being granted a permanent commission on 19 Dec 1936 (33273).

    His first squadron posting was to 57 Sqn, on 19 Dec 36. I don't know exactly when he transferred to the PDU.

    Shot down on 24 Apr 40, he became the longest serving New Zealand PoW of WWII.

    In 1947 he commanded 617 Sqn when it carried out a goodwill tour of North America with its Lincolns (one of his flight commanders at the time was fellow New Zealander Clive Saxelby). And later 'played a leading part in reorganising the RAF's Flying Training Command in the early 1950s. He was awarded an OBE for this work.'

    When returning from leave in New Zealand in December 1950 he had a lucky escape when the 53 Sqn Hastings he was a passenger in crash-landed at Benia, Libya, on the 20th following separation of a propeller in flight which hit the fuselage and cut the rudder and elevator controls.

    Gp Capt Milne, OBE, DFC retired from the RAF on 30 Nov 56 and returned to New Zealand where he took up a post as a mathmatics teacher at Papakura High School. He died in August 1985.

    Errol

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    And from Vol One of the Official History of New Zealanders with the RAF:

    "It was, in fact, the white trail left by his Spitfire which led to Milne being shot down towards the end of April 1940. By that time the Germans were maintaining high-altitude patrols in order to intercept the photographic aircraft.

    Six Messerschmitts approached under my ‘con-trail’ but I did not see them as I was busy photographing. The leader put a cannon shell into my engine which rapidly failed. While it lasted I tried to get back to France, suffering further attack on the way. Fifty miles from the frontier at a few thousand feet the engine gave out so I baled out between attacks after putting the Spitfire into a dive to destroy its equipment. Landed in a village and was immediately arrested."

    Errol

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    Hi Errol,

    Thank you for the additional info on Milne, it is much appreciated.

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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