Squadron Leader Denis ''Dusty'' Miller DSO DFC
New Zealand pilot who flew on the 'thousand bomber' raids during the war.
After learning to fly in his native New Zealand, Denis 'Dusty' Miller went in 1941 to Britain to serve in Bomber Command, gaining the DSO and DFC for his bravery and leadership in two tours of operations against heavily defended targets. Remaining in Britain as an airline pilot after the war he took part in the expansion of BOAC.
Denis Miller was born in 1918 and educated at Auckland Grammer School. After he arrived in the UK his first operational posting was to 50 Squadron flying Hampdens, after which he instructed on Wellingtons with 25 Operational Training Unit.
With 25 OTU he took part in three of the ''thousand bomber raids'' against German cities for which Air Cheif Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, cheif of Bomber Command, ransacked the remaining units to make up the magic four figure number. Miller was awarded the DFC.
He was awarded an immediate DSO during his second tour, with 49 (Lancaster) Squadron after a lengthy sortiein April 1944 to lay mines off Gdynia, Poland, the principal naval base on the Baltic. He and his crew were the lead aircraft and came under heavy fire from shore and shipborne flak. While returning over Denmark, his aircraft was attacked by two JU88's, which he eluded by flying into cloud.
His DSO citation reads @@With a complete disregard of danger in the face of the enemy, he continues to go into battle with the utmost determination and astonishing keenness. His personal example has been an inspiration to his men.
At the end of the war, Miller joined BOAC and over 28 years flew a wide variety of aircraft from Yorks and Constellations to Boeing 707s.
His wife, Margery, died in 2007 and he is survived by a Daughter. His son who became a boeing 747 pilot with British Airways, predeceased him.
Squadron Leader Denis ''Dusty'' Miller, DSO DFC, bomber and airline pilot, was born on November 12 1918. He died on March 24th March 2009, aged 90.