MILLER, Horace

No.1470915, Sergeant (W/Op-Air Gunr), Horace William MILLER
Aged 21

No.30 Operational Training Unit, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died on Active Service on Wednesday, 29th December 1943

Horace Miller was born in 1922 (Chesterton Q2-1922 3B:728), baptised Stapleford 2nd July 1922, son of Horace Stanley and Naomi MILLER (née MATES). Husband of Elsie May MILLER (née MOORE) from Thorne in Yorkshire. They married in August 1943 and lived in Burrough Green.

In the 1939 register his parents were at 7 Council Houses, Burrough Green. Father[2-5-1895] a disabled soldier; mother [25-11-1897] and scholar Lilian A TAYLOR ( possibly an evacuee)

Vickers Wellington Mk 3, ser. no. X3883, call sign BT-?, took off on December 29th 1943 on a ‘Bullseye Operation’ navigational and bomb aiming training over England. Attached to 30 Operational Training Squadron based at RAF Hixon (and it's satellite at Seighford) Staffordshire. This was a ‘co-operational’ exercise between the RAF OTU and ground force defences. On these exercises they would have been given a target on a particular course, that they had to find and photograph., the ground forces' task was to search and destroy the aircraft by searchlight.
During the course of the flight the starboard engine failed, giving the pilot with two options, land at either RAF Tattenhill or RAF Hoar Cross, both being relief landing grounds, or bale out. The pilot chose to re start the engine, which ignited causing the aircraft to go out of control and crash near Hoar Cross, Staffordshire.
The crew were P/Off. J. W. Lorrimore.(Pilot), Sgt T. B. Joyce. ( Air Gunner), Sgt J Whitehead.( Navigator), Sgt H.W. Miller. (W/Op A G) , Sgt E. A. Dean. (Air Gunner), and Sgt F. Collett. ( survived the crash).

Wellingtons at RAF Hixon, front two from 30 OTU.

photo: Roy Beardsworth

photo: Simon Knott

Horace Miller is buried in Burrough Green (St Augustine's) Churchyard

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details