Sergeant James Gordon MILNE

Service No: 408774
Born: Camperdown VIC, 16 August 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 May 1941
Unit: No. 27 Operational Training Unit (RAF), RAF Lichfield, Staffordshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 27 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft L7815), Staffordshire, 13 September 1942, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Fradley (St.Stephen’s) Churchyard, Staffordshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur Roland and Anne Milne, of Tatura, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Tatura VIC
Remembered: Panel 127, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 13 September 1942, Wellington L7815 took off at 2331 hours from RAF Lichfield and carrying 4 x 500 lb (pound) (225 kg) GP (general purpose) bombs, was detailed to carry out an attack on
Bremen, Germany. Within minutes of lifting off, the port engine began to falter and the crew made an immediate to base. Tragically, while turning finals, the aircraft spun out of control and crashed. A mere nine minutes had elapsed from the time of their departure. On impact the aircraft became a mass of flames and the crew of five was killed.

The crew members of L7815 were:

Sergeant William John Percival Fletcher (406476) (Pilot)
Sergeant Frederick William Lewis (1053802) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant James Gordon Milne (408774) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Joseph Albert Turnbull (411555) (Observer)
Sergeant Fairfield Thompson (1354657) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)

In the aftermath of the accident, a party of RAF ground staff were detailed to mount guard on the wreckage. At 0320 hours, there was a tremendous explosion and the following four RAF members guarding the crash site were killed:

Aircraftman First Class Colin Aveyard (1028776) (RAFVR)
Aircraftman First Class Alfred Marten (1296177) (RAFVR)
Leading Aircraftman Kenneth Ward (577760) (RAF)
Corporal Ronald Moses Simon Zucker (938506) (RAFVR)


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, 163/144/211

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