MILNER, Allan Ralph Flight Lieutenant, No.429 Squadron, J12764 Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star (France) RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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MILNER, F/L Allan Ralph (J12764) - Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star (France) - No.429 Squadron - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 20 September 1947 and AFRO 485/47 dated 12 September 1947. Born 11 September 1921. Home in Vancouver. Enlisted in Vancouver, 18 August 1941. To No.3 Manning Depot, 8 September 1941. To Station Calgary, 10 October 1941. To No.4 ITS, 10 November 1941. Graduated and promoted LAC, 2 January 1942; to No.18 EFTS that date; to No.15 SFTS, 28 March 1942; graduated and commissioned, 17 July 1942. To No.2 Flying Instructor School, 14 August 1942. To No.11 SFTS, 10 October 1942. Promoted Flying Officer, 17 January 1943. To No.19 EFTS, 7 February 1943. To No.10 SFTS, 30 June 1943. To “Y” Depot, 23 September 1943. Taken on strength of No.3 PRC, 10 October 1943. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 17 July 1944. Repatriated 7 July 1945. To No.3 Repair Depot, 20 July 1945. To No.8 Release Centre, 20 September 1945. Retired 18 October 1945. Died at Nelson, British Columbia, 20 February 2000. RCAF photo PL-26897 (ex UK-8376 dated 29 February 1944) shows him but caption describes him as “a newcomer to the RCAF Night Intruder Squadron.” RCAF photo PL-44784 (ex UK-22244 and UK-22251 dated 22 June 1945) shows four ex-POWs at Royal Garden Party, 19 June 1945 - F/L W.A. Wilson (Vancouver), F/O H.J. Ludman (Lethbridge), D/L A.R. Milner (Vancouver) and F/O V.L. Hawkes (Calgary). External Affairs file “French Awards to Canadian Armed Forces - Particular Cases” (Library and Archives Canada, RG.25, Box 4140) has the following citation: // Flight Lieutenant Milner was an outstanding captain of heavy bomber aircraft operating from 6 Group, Bomber Command. He participated in many special missions against German installations in France requiring a high degree of skill and daring. // The website “Lost Bombers” describes his going missing in January 1945. Halifax NR173 of No.429 Squadron (AL-D) engaged in mining operations, 12/13 January 1945. Airborne at 1718 hours, 12 January 1945 from Leeming to lay mines off Flensburg. Two radio messages were received from this aircraft, the first at 2131 stating that the crew were preparing to abandon. Four minutes later a second message gave their position as 5520N 0858E. Crew were F/L A.R.Milner, RCAF (injured). Sergeant K.Turner (injured), F/O H.K.Frair, RCAF (injured), F/O R.H.Barnes, RCAF (injured), WO1 H.L.Johnson, RCAF (injured), Flight Sergeant O.H.Sulek, RCAF (injured), Flight Sergeant J.G.Small, RCAF (injured). These personnel were confined to hospital until liberation and had no POW numbers assigned. // Directorate of History and Heritage file 181.001 D.24 has his “Loss of Bomber Aircraft” questionnaire based on interview of 12 May 1945. He stated he had flown 23 sorties as pilot. // Set course from English coast over Scarborough at 3,000 feet over 10/10 cloud. At Danish coast climbed quickly to 15,000 feet. No moon, complete darkness, 10/10 cloud at 2,000 feet. Cruising at 15,000 feet half way across Denmark on heading 090 degrees True. Fighter attacked from dead astern and level. No previous warning til hit by cannon and machine gun, entered a corkscrew maneouvre. Rear gunner observed strikes when returning fire and fighter broke away. Aircraft nose heavy and no rudder control. Mission abandoned due to damage of mine-dropping equipment. Returning to England on heading of 290 degrees. Two more corkscrew maneuvers owing to warnings given from rear gunner and mines were jettisoned. Gradually losing height due to loss of power on starboard outer engine and flaps had dropped to full flap. Engineer reported tanks drained and engines damaged. Navigator said we could not reach coast so turned to heading 060 degrees for Sweden. Navigational equipment unserviceable so broke cloud on D.R. but presumed over Baltic. Circled, saw land and abandoned aircraft. Starboard outer engine temperature (cylinder) at 300 degrees and starboard inner glowing brightly but no damage recorded by instruments. Landed easily in field.