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Portrait

 

 

 
Flight Sergeant Dennis Arthur MILLS DFM 

Serial Number: 1509562
RAF Trade: Air Gunner
Date of Enlistment: Not Known
Rank Achieved: Flight Sergeant
Operational Sorties: 45 Ops with 156 Squadron.
Date of Birth: October,1923

Awards: Distinguished Flying Medal, 20th December, 1943. (Award with effect from 1st January, 1944)


Personal Details:
Dennis was born in Newtown, Powys, Wales. He was raised and lived there prior to his joining the RAF Volunteer Reserve.
 

This Air Gunner spent just 10 months with 156 Squadron and was on either his last or second to last  mission before completing his normal Pathfinder double tour of 45 missions straight.  (No. 23 to Nuremburg may not count, due to early return).

He visited most of the most dangerous targets in Germany, including 7 to Berlin, 4 to Mannheim, 3 to Duisberg etc. He also participated in the  raid on Peenemunde when the V1/V2 sites were attacked as a matter of priority.

His 42nd Op to Mannheim was very nearly his last, having survived multiple fighter attacks.

His last mission was to Berlin in Lancaster JB703 which took off from Warboys  at 00:33 and no further contact was made with the aircraft which is presumed to have crashed over or near the target His pilot for all his missions was S/L Stewart who had flown at least 50 operational sorties.The aircraft came down at the Luftgau Kommand in Kronprinzallee, South-West Berlin. The bodies of the crew were interred originally in the Doberitz Elsgrund cemetery before being exhumed, identified and re-interred at the Berlin 1939-1945 cemetery.

421 Lancasters were involved in this raid on the German capital, 28 aircraft were lost (6.7%) (4 of the 18 aircraft despatched from 156 Squadron were lost (22.22%), a figure only exceeded at Brunswick, two weeks later).

Dennis was 21 years old when he died.

His Log book below gives a good insight into the daily operational process of a Pathfinder Squadron.

Date-Time Aircraft/Serial/Reg Pilot Duty Detail Day Night
12/12/42-1530 Defiant/ T4045 Sgt Binch Air Gunner 200 rounds fired 25 min
03/01/43-1320 Defiant/ N3327 F/Sgt Walker Air Gunner C.G 1 25 of film 1hr 10min
05/01/43-1325 Defiant/ T4101 Sgt Konecki Air Gunner 200 rounds FRBT...7% 30 min
07/01/43-0945 Defiant/ N1805 Sgt Passmore Air Gunner 200 rounds FRST...7% 45 min
07/01/43-1155 Defiant/ N3192 Sgt Passmore Air Gunner 200 rounds FRST...11% 50 min
07/01/43-1530 Defiant/ N1618 P/O Wiltshire Air Gunner 200 rounds FRST...2% 50 min
10/01/43-1450 Defiant/ N1760 Sgt Purvis Air Gunner 200 rounds FRAT8% 30 min
10/01/43-1450 Defiant/ N1791 Sgt King Air Gunner 200 rounds FRQT2% 30 min
12/01/43-1350 Defiant/ T4114 Sgt Slon Air Gunner 200 rounds FRQT1% 40 min
14/01/43-1205 Defiant/ L7013 F/Sgt George Air Gunner 400 rounds FRQ9% 40 min
14/01/43-1550 Defiant/ N1805 Sgt Konecki Air Gunner 200 rounds FRBRS19% 45 min
TOTAL FLYING TIME DURING COURSE 7HRS 35MINS
CERTIFIED BY .. F/Lt
FOR CI No 2 AGS
05/02/43-1240 Lancaster/ / K S/Ldr Donaldson Mid Gunner From Base to Ford 1hr 00min
05/02/43-1630 Lancaster/ / K S/Ldr Donaldson Mid Gunner From Ford to Base 45min
11/02/43-1000 Wellington/ / Y Sgt Stewart Tail Gunner From Base to Wyton 40min
11/02/43-1200 Wellington/ / E Sgt Stewart Tail Gunner From Wyton to Chipping-Warden 1hr 40min
12/02/43-1400 Wellington/ / V Sgt Stewart Tail Gunner From Wyton to Chipping-Warden 45min
16/02/43-1400 Lancaster/ / M Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner Circuits & Landings 1hr 00min
17/02/43-1030 Lancaster/ / S/Ldr Grimston Mid Gunner Height Test 1hr 00min
18/02/43- Lancaster/ / M Sgt Stewart Mid Gunnert Local Flying 1hr 10min
18/02/43-2000 Lancaster/ / M Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner Circuits & Landings 1hr 20m
19/02/43-1500 Lancaster/ / M Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner Base, Hereford, Colwyn, Sleaford 3hr 00min
25/02/43-2000 Lancaster/ / M Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner Base, Moreton, Lincoln, Pocklington,Thetford, Leicester, Base, X country 2hr 45m
28/02/43-1855 Lancaster/ / D Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner 1/ OPS St Nazaire 5hr 22m
SUMMARY OF FLYING FOR FEB 10HR 30M 9HR 27M
TOTAL TIME 18HR 05M 9HR 27M
05/03/43-1930 Lancaster/ / C Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner 2/ OPS Essen 4hr 15m
14/03/43- 1500 Lancaster/ / B Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner Air firing 50min
21/03/43- 1430 Lancaster/ / L Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner Bomb on range 1hr 30min
22/03/43- 1930 Lancaster/ / L Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner 3/ OPS St Nazaire (Returned 3 engines) 5hr 20m
26/03/43- 1950 Lancaster/ / L Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner 4/ OPS Duisberg 4hr 35m
28/03/43- 1950 Lancaster/ / E Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner 5/ OPS St Nazaire 4hr 30m
30/03/43- 1045 Lancaster/ / R Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner Air firing 1hr 00min
31/03/43- 1020 Lancaster/ / M Sgt Stewart Mid Gunner Air firing 1hr 00min
SUMMARY OF FLYING FOR MARCH 4HR 20MIN 18H 40M
TOTAL TIME
03/04/43- 1954 Lancaster/ / F Sgt Stewart Air Gunner 6/ OPS Essen P.F.F. 4hr 35m
04/04/43- 1530 Lancaster/ / L Sgt Stewart Air Gunner N.F.T. 35min
07/04/43- 1145 Lancaster/ / D Sgt Stewart Air Gunner N.F.T. 35min
10/04/43- 1030 Lancaster/ / M Sgt Stewart Air Gunner N.F.T. 1hr 10min
10/04/43- 0010 Lancaster/ / M Sgt Stewart Air Gunner 7/ OPS Frankfurt P.F.F. 5hr 55m
12/04/43- 1045 Lancaster/ / M Sgt Stewart Air Gunner N.F.T. 30min
13/04/43- 2110 Lancaster/ / M Sgt Stewart Air Gunner 8/ OPS Spezia P.F.F. 4hr 20m
23/04/43- 1500 Lancaster/ / E Sgt Stewart Air Gunner N.F.T. 45min
26/04/43- 1500 Lancaster/ / H Sgt Stewart Air Gunner N.F.T. 30min
26/04/43- 0050 Lancaster/ / H Sgt Stewart Air Gunner 9/ OPS Duisburg P.F.F. 4hr 15m
28/04/43- 1045 Lancaster/ / M Sgt Stewart Air Gunner To Wittering & return 45min
29/04/43-1600 Lancaster/ / X Sgt Stewart Air Gunner N.F.T. & Air firing 1hr 15min
SUMMARY OF FLYING FOR APRIL 4HR 25MIN 23HR 55M
TOTAL TIME 26HR 50MIN 52HR 02M
01/05/43- 1330 Lancaster/ / N Sgt Stewart Gunner Air Firing 1hr 30min
02/05/43- 1045 Lancaster/ED734/ H Sgt Stewart Gunner Altitude Test 1hr 40min
04/05/43- 2330 Lancaster/ED734/ H Sgt Stewart Gunner 10/ OPS Dortmund,Diverted to High Ercall. P.F.F. 5hr 40m
05/05/43- 1245 Lancaster/ED734/ H Sgt Stewart Gunner From High Ercall 40min
07/05/43- 1100 Lancaster/ED734/ H Sgt Stewart Gunner N.F.T. 1hr 10min
11/05/43- 1045 Lancaster/ED734/ H Sgt Stewart Gunner N.F.T. 35min
12/05/43- 1000 Lancaster/ED734/ H Sgt Stewart Gunner N.F.T. & Air Firing 1hr 10min
12/05/43- 2338 Lancaster/ED734/ H Sgt Stewart Gunner 11/ OPS Duisburg, hit over Utrecht, P.F.F. 4hr 35m
13/05/43- 2250 Lancaster/ED734/ H Sgt Stewart Gunner 12/ OPS Pilsen P.F.F. 7hr 00m
21/05/43- 1015 Lancaster/ED734/ H Sgt Stewart Gunner To Winthorde & return 1hr 30min
22/05/43- 1045 Lancaster/ / E P/O Stewart Gunner Air to sea firing 45min
23/05/43- 1100 Lancaster/ / E P/O Stewart Gunner N.F.T. 1hr 00min
23/05/43- 2350 Lancaster/ / E P/O Stewart Gunner 13/ OPS Dortmund P.F.F. 4hr 20min
27/05/43- 1220 Lancaster/ED926/ E P/O Stewart Gunner Y Practise 2hr 00min
28/05/43- 1115 Lancaster/ED926/ E P/O Stewart Gunner Y Practise D.N.C.O. 15min
28/05/43- 1440 Lancaster/ED926/ E P/O Stewart Gunner Y Practise 1hr 30min
29/05/43-1450 Lancaster/ED926/ H P/O Stewart Gunner Y Practise 1hr 40min
31/05/43- 1015 Lancaster/ED926/ H P/O Stewart Gunner Base Pocklington Y Practise 2hr 25min
31/05/43- 1440 Lancaster/ED926/ H P/O Stewart Gunner Pocklington X Country Base Y 2hr 35min
SUMMARY OF FLYING FOR MAY 21HR 25MIN 21HR 35M
02/06/43- 1030 Lancaster/ED926/ E P/O Stewart Gunner Y X country (landed at St Atham) 3hr 00min
04/06/43- 1200 Lancaster/ED926/ E P/O Stewart Gunner Y X country (landed Hixon) 3hr 30min
06/06/43- 1500 Lancaster/ED926/ P/O Stewart Gunner Y Practice 2hr 15min
16/06/43- 1100 Lancaster/ / N P/O Stewart Gunner N.F.T. 30min
16/06/43- 2306 Lancaster/ / E P/O Stewart Gunner 14/ OPS Cologne P.F.F. 4hr 50m
19/06/43- 1100 Lancaster/ED474/ N P/O Stewart Gunner N.F.T. 30min
19/06/43- 2225 Lancaster/ / E P/O Stewart Gunner 15/ OPS Montchanin P.F.F. 6hr 30m
21/06/43-2350 Lancaster/ / E P/O Stewart Gunner 16/ OPS Krefield P.F.F. 4hr 00min
22/06/43- 2335 Lancaster/ / E P/O Stewart Gunner 17/ OPS Mulheim P.F.F. 3hr 55m
26/06/43- 1100 Lancaster/W4922/ D P/O Stewart Gunner To Edgehill & return 1hr
SUMMARY OF FLYING JUNE 10HR 45MIN 19HR 25M
TOTAL FLYING 52HR 40MIN 97HR 35M
01/07/43- 1500 Lancaster/W4950/ J P/O Stewart Gunner Formation flying 1hr 00min
03/07/43- 1110 Lancaster/W4950/ J P/O Stewart Gunner N.F.T. 45min
03/07/43- 2255 Lancaster/W4950/ J P/O Stewart Gunner 18/ OPS Cologne P.F.F. 5hr 00m
07/07/43- 1100 Lancaster/ED734/ H P/O Stewart Gunner Chipping Warden & Gapon 2hr 00min
12/07/43- 1100 Lancaster/ED969/ S P/O Stewart Gunner N.F.T. 45min
12/07/43- 2125 Lancaster/ED969/ S P/O Stewart Gunner 19/ OPS Turin P.F.F. 10hr 15m
14/07/43- 1230 Lancaster/ED734/ H P/O Stewart Gunner Fighter Affil: Landed Nth Weald 1hr 30min
16/07/43- 1200 Lancaster/ / D P/O Stewart Gunner Air to sea firing 400 rounds 1hr 10min
19/07/43- 1430 Lancaster/ / B P/O Stewart Gunner To Debden & return 1hr 10min
SUMMARY OF FLYING JULY 8HR 20MIN 15HR 15M

JULY
TOTAL TIME 63HR 25MIN 117HR 00M
01/08/43- 1500 Lancaster/ / D P/O Stewart Air Gunner Practice bombing 1hr 00min
02/08/43- 2304 Lancaster/ / X P/O Stewart Air Gunner 20/ OPS Hamburg P.F.F. 5hr 35m
05/08/43- 1500 Lancaster/ / C P/O Stewart Air Gunner Y flying 1hr 15min
07/08/43- 1100 Lancaster/ED856/ F P/O Stewart Air Gunner N.F.T. 30min
07/08/43-2149 Lancaster/ED856/ F P/O Stewart Air Gunner 21/ OPS Turin & Genoa 8hr 20m
09/08/43-1130 Lancaster/ / F P/O Stewart Air Gunner Air to air firing at Ipswich. 27 hits 1hr 20min
09/08/43- 2330 Lancaster/ / F P/O Stewart Air Gunner 22/ OPS Mannheim. Fired at fighter holding off. No return fire:- E/A lost after evasive action 5hr 15min
10/08/43- 2150 Lancaster/ / F P/O Stewart Air Gunner 23/ OPS Nuremberg (Returned early - Due to Rear Turret and Bomb Site U/S) 2hr 10min
12/08/43- 1120 Lancaster/ED856/ F P/O Stewart Air Gunner N.F.T. 20min
12/08/43-2130 Lancaster/ / F P/O Stewart Air Gunner 24/ OPS Milan P.F.F. 8hr 00m
14/08/43-1130 Lancaster/ED856/ F P/O Stewart Air Gunner To Mildenhall & return 1hr 00min
15/08/43- 2030 Lancaster/ / F P/O Stewart Air Gunner 25/ OPS Milan P.F.F. 7hr 20m
17/08/43- 1100 Lancaster/ED856/ F P/O Stewart Air Gunner N.F.T. 45min
17/08/43- 2129 Lancaster/ED856/ F P/O Stewart Air Gunner 26/ OPS Peenemunde P.F.F. 6hrs 35m
SUMMARY OF FLYING FOR AUGUST 6HR 10MIN 43HR 15M
TOTAL TIME 72HR 30MIN 132HR 15M
05/09/43-1143 Lancaster/JB179/ F P/O Stewart Air Gunner Air Firing 1hr 15min
05/09/43- 1950 Lancaster/JB179/ F P/O Stewart Air Gunner 27/ OPS Manneheim P.F.F. 5hr 50m
06/09/43- 1930 Lancaster/EE118/ C P/O Stewart Air Gunner 28/ OPS Munich P.F.F. 7hr 30m
16/09/43- 2001 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart Air Gunner 29/ OPS Modane P.F.F. 7hr 00m
19/09/43-1215 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Y Training. Landing Feltwell 1hr 30min
21/09/43-1130 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Y Training. Landing Gyerston 2hr 30min
22/09/43- 1015 Lancaster/JA941/ A F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Y Training 2hr 15min
22/09/43-1500 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Y Training 2hr 05min
23/09/43- 1200 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner N.F.T. 1hr 00min
23/09/43- 1930 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 30/ OPS Mannheim P.F.F. 5hr 55m
25/09/43- 1145 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner To Harwell & return 1hr 20min
27/09/43- 1940 Lancaster/ / F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 31/ OPS Hanover P.F.F. 5hr 10m
SUMMARY OF FLYING SEPT. 11HR 55MIN 31HR 25M
TOTAL TIME 84HR 00MIN 175HR 30M
01/10/43- 1843 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 32/ OPS Hagen P.F.F. 4hr 45m
02/10/43-1836 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 33/ OPS Munich P.F.F. 7hr 25m
04/10/43- 1845 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 34/ OPS Ludwigshafen, spoof. Blind marker, 1st on a P.F.F. Photo 1 mile 5hr 20m
21/10/43- 1430 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Air to air firing 1hr 10min
22/10/43- 1814 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 35/ OPS Kassel. A.S.I. frozen up, 10/10 cloud all the way, clear over target 4hr 40m
30/10/43- 1200 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner N.F.T. 45min
SUMMARY OF FLYING FOR OCT. 1HR 55MIN 22HR 10M
TOTAL TIME 85HR 55MIN 206HR 55M
05/11/43-1500 Lancaster/ /F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Fighter affil (Results- good evasive action & range) 45 min
06/11/43-1430 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Formation flying 1hr 00min
09/11/43- 1115 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner N.F.T. 50min
10/11/43- 2045 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 36/ OPS Modane P.F.F. (No A/C missing) 7hr 20m
13/11/43- 1100 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Y Training 1hr 00min
16/11/43- 1100 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner N.F.T. & Fishpond 1hr 00min
16/11/43- 1500 Lancaster//JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Air to air firing 1hr 30min
18/11/43- 1710 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 37/ OPS Berlin, 400 A/C, 9 missing 7hr 45m
22/11/43- 1700 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 38/ OPS Berlin, 750 A/C, 26 missing 6hr 15m
23/11/43- 1700 Lancaster/JB179/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 39/ OPS Berlin 6hr 10m
SUMMARY OF FLYING NOV. 6HR 10MIN 27HR 30M
TOTAL TIME 94HR 00MIN 236HR 35M
04/12/43- 0045 Lancaster/JA941/ A F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 40/ OPS Lepzig, blind markers 23 A/C missing 6hr 40m
05/12/43- 1430 Lancaster/JB667/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Air to sea firing 1hr 30min
10/12/43- 1130 Lancaster/JB667/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Y Training 1hr 00min
11/12/43- 1135 Lancaster/JB217/ E F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Fighter Affil. 30min
12/12/43- 1145 Lancaster/JB667/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner To Harwell & return 1hr 05min
16/12/43- 1100 Lancaster/JB667/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner N.F.T. 45min
16/12/43- 1635 Lancaster/JB667/ F F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 41/ OPS Berlin 6hr 35m
19/12/43- 1445 Lancaster/JB667/ X F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner Air test 30min
20/12/43- 1714 Lancaster/JB667/ X F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 42/ OPS Mannheim. 4 attacks by JU88 & 2 by ME109. Rear turret hit by cannon shell on first and third attack by JU88. Starboard wheel & S I engine nacelle. M.Us guns jammed & rear guns U/S after first attack by JU88 M.U. scored hits on ME109 & as he broke away Rear Gunner saw sparks coming from it. Claimed as damaged. Landed Bungay with S/B tyre flat 5hr 35m
24/12/43- 0033 Lancaster/JB667/ F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 43/ OPS Berlin 6hr 45m
27/12/43- 1500 Lancaster/JB703/ F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner A.-S. firing. Practice bombing 1hr 35min
29/12/43- 1700 Lancaster/JB703/ F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 44/ OPS Berlin 6hr 05m
SUMMARY OF FLYING DEC. 6HR 55MIN 31HR 40M
01/01/44 Lancaster/JB703/ X F/Lt Stewart DFC Air Gunner 45/ Ops Berlin. Missing

The  details and photographs on this page were supplied by his nephew David Mills.