Gerald Desmond Mills

Major, 19 Squadron. Royal Flying Corps.

Killed In Action on the 19th May 1917 aged 26.

Major Gerald Mills

The youngest son of Canon Mills of Benington Rectory. Educated at Haileybury College and later at Sandhurst. Gerald was commissioned into the Notts & Derbys Regiment in October 1910. His elder brother, 2/Lt. G.E.Mills had been killed in action with the 1st Battalion of the Notts. & Derbys Regiment at Moedwil on the 30th September 1901 during the Boer war.

Gerald served for over three years in India and returned to the UK in March 1914 to join the RFC. On the 7th April 1915 he went to France as a Flight Commander with No.7 Squadron. He was flying RE5 737 on 28 April 1915, with Lt Murray as observer, when he was involved in combat with an LVG. On 21 July 1915, he was flying RE 5 2458 with 2Lt R C McPherson as observer when he fought an unidentified enemy aircraft. On 18 September 1915, he was flying RE5 2457 with 2Lt Layton as observer when he was attacked by a Fokker. On 26 September 1915, again in 2457 with 2Lt Layton, Capt Mills had a fight with an Albatros 2 miles south of Lille.

He returned as an instructor at Central Flying School in January 1916 and was gazetted a Squadron Commander in April of that year. On 16 November 1916, flying a single seat Bristol Scout, Capt Mills attacked an Albatros over the Forest d'Houthulst. He fired one round from his Lewis gun before it jammed. Being unable to clear his weapon, he was forced to break off the combat.

After being appointed to the Air Board office in March 1917 he applied to return to active service and he returned to France on the 15th May 1917 with 19 Squadron based at Vert Galand. Four days after he arrived in France Gerald was killed in an accident whilst flying a Spad S7 (A6749).

He is buried at Doullens Cemetery, France. 

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal

Posted in .