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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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31st August 1944 595 Squadron Martinet TT.I MS529 Fl/Sgt. McMillan

Operation: Ant-aircraft Co-operation

Date: 31st August 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 595 Squadron (motto: Servi Ballistae - 'Serve the gun'). 70 Group

Type: Miles Martinet TT.I

Serial: MS529

Code: 7B-?

Base: RAF Aberporth, Cardiganshire

Location: Milford Haven area

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Lyell Arvie McMillan NZ/427294 RNZAF Age 23. Killed


During an exercise with 61 anti-aircraft brigade when coming out of clouds in a spin with a dead engine. At 15:00 hrs the pilot attempted to bale out of the aircraft but tragically his parachute caught in the propeller.

It seems that the engine had cut as the pilot had not switched over to the second fuel tank.

L-R: Rear; R.A Melles, E.D Minnery, A.N Mitchell, G.D Neave, W.J Niccolls, W.O Nicholson.
Front; R.T Lawlor, R.F.D McGovern, H.McL McIntyre, L.A McMillan, M.B McPherson, J.A Mason.

Burial and personal details:

Fl/Sgt. Lyell Arvie McMillan. Bath (Haycombe) Cemetery. Plot 51. Sec H, Row R. Grave 238. Also remembered on family grave at Ellesmere Public Cemetery. Born on the 28th July 1921 at Wellington. Worked as a fam hand for his mothers farm at Leeston. South Island prior to service. Served in the territorial army for two months. Enlisted at Gisborne on the 11th July 1942 as an aircraft hand but remastered as a pilot under training on the 04th February 1943. Trained at No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School 03rd April 1943 then to No. 2 Service Flying Training School on the 31st May 1943.

Family grave at Ellesmere Public Cemetery, Leeston, New Zealand

Pilots badge awarded on the 02nd August 1943 and promoted to sergeant on the 25th September 1943. Embarked for England on the 15th October 1943. Joined No. 5 Pilots Advanced Flying Unit on the 20th June 1944. Finally joining 595 squadron on the 15th August 1944.

Son of Albert Arvie McMillan (died 26th August 1948, age 58) and Olive Maud McMillan (née Prosser - born 15th February 1896 - died 31st December 1977, age 81), brother of Trevor Thomas (died 20th July 2013, age 90) and Mervyn Albert (died 10th March 2005, age 81) of Southbridge, Canterbury, New Zealand. A total of 289 flying hours logged with 10 on the Martinet.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 06-09-2021

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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