Flt. Lt. George William Milson DFC

Flt. Lt. George William Milson DFC 18 & 84 Squadrons RAF

George Milson was born in Lincoln and lived in Coningsby from the age of 7 years old. His father was the founder in 1923 of H H Milson’s bus company. George was educated at Coningsby CE School and Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Horncastle.

In September 1939, he enlisted in the RAF – training as pilot and going on to fly Blenheim Mark 1 Bombers. He was stationed in Norfolk with 18 Squadron and took part in raids and shipping sweeps over Europe before flying to the Middle East to join 84 Squadron in The Western Desert.

George at home in Coningsby

In 1941, he was sent with 84 Squadron to The Far East; ending up in Java where he was captured by the Japanese. When Kalijati airfield came under attack, George escaped and walked 50 miles across Java to regroup with his squadron in Tjilatjap. From there an escape to Australia was attempted but it was not to be. George and many others were stranded on a beach at Nusa Kambangan in Java for over a month.

Western Desert – George seated first left.
Mosul July 1941

It was from here that George was captured as a Far East Prisoner of War (FEPOW). He endured solitary confinement and spent time in several POW camps in Java until he was sent on the “hell ship” Macassa Maru to Singapore. He was interned in Changi POW Camp and spent the last 6 months in Kranji POW Camp. In all he spent three and a half years as a FEPOW. After liberation in August 1945 he was repatriated back to the UK on the MV Tegelberg in October 1945. He then took up his pre-war life in the family bus business in Coningsby.

Unfortunately his pilot’s log book was destroyed by the Japanese but we know from a signed document of 26th October 1945 that he flew a total of 63 operational sorties – 54 daylight sorties and 9 night operational sorties, flying 191.05 hours. His total flying hours on service being a huge 549.40 hours.

To mark the 82nd Anniversary of his capture on 8th April 2024, George’s family have published his memoirs which include many documents, diaries and letters relating to his experiences of life in POW camps

 

 

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