LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer William George Allen MILLER

Service No: 423834
Born: Croydon NSW, 28 May 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 July 1942
Unit: No. 160 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident: (No. 160 Squadron Liberator aircraft EV837), Sri Lanka, 15 June 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Colombo (Levermentu) Cemetery, Sri Lanka
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William George and Martha Isabel Miller, of Ashfield, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Ashfield NSW
Remembered: Panel 127, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 15 June 1944 Liberator EV837 took off on an Opal Flight from Blitz and crashed at Sigiriya. All on board the aircraft were killed in the crash.

The crew members of EV837 were:

Warrant Officer Charles Thomas Abel (1190309) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air) (ASVG)
Pilot Officer Edgar Vernon Dunk (178008) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Warrant Officer I John Edward Ford (R/120750) (RCAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Robert Charles Hutchinson (1133055) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer William George Allen Miller (423834) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Albert William Sorrie (1425985) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Robert Douglas Stow (938440) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Arthur Williams (1112785) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air) (ASVG)

In a Court of Inquiry finding into the accident, Wing Commander Young stated “I am of the opinion that Pilot was somewhat naturally obsessed with the idea of getting high as quickly as possible in order to clear hills around, and owing to lack of experience eventually got his aircraft into a stalled condition. It is possible that the somewhat inefficient instruments provided in the Liberators control provided difficulties to the Pilot. It appears that the Pilot realized he was stalling and fully opened all throttles thus producing the exhaust or turbo supercharger fire flames which gave some people the impression of fire in the air. As the pilot would have known he was near some hills, he may have still tried to keep the nose up in order to maintain height with the result that he lost more and was unable to recover before the aircraft hit the ground.”

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 32/4/251