Pilot Officer David Bruce MILLS

Service No: 407298
Born: Balaklava SA, 17 March 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 August 1940
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Breighton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Wellington aircraft Z1399), Germany, 26 July 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Charles Walter and Rosaland Mills, of Balaklava, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Balaklava SA
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Date: 25-26 July 1942
Target: Duisburg
Total Force: Dispatched – 313, Attacking – 252
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 15, Attacking – 14
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 547
Total Aircraft Lost: 11
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 2

Four nights later (26 July 1942) weather again spoilt the attack, and RAAF crews were forced to bomb the most promising fires or gun positions in the estimated position of Duisburg. Subsequent photographic reconnaissance revealed additional devastation to factories, public and private property, but no large areas were destroyed.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 326-7

Flying Officer Burgess and crew were detailed to operate Wellington Z1399 against Duisberg Germany, on the night of 25/26 July 1942. The aircraft took off from RAF Station Breighton at 0030 hours on 26 July and since then nothing has been heard of the aircraft or crew. The aircraft was one of fifteen aircraft from the Squadron that took part in the raid. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed near Duisberg, Germany.

The crew members of Z1399 were:

Sergeant Donald Bagley (1109333) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Clifford Henry Burgess (406344) (Pilot)
Sergeant James McPherson Milligan (1310076) (RAFVR) (Front Gunner)
Pilot Officer David Bruce Mills (407298) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William Harrie Nettle (400330) (Observer)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster Z1462 (Sergeant William George Taylor (6201) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)) on 26 July 1944.


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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/144/194


Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985

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