24.08.1942 No. 402 Squadron Spitfire IX BS136 Fl/Sgt. Miller
Operation: Circus 208
Date: 24th August 1942 (Monday)
Unit: No. 402 Squadron (RCAF)
Type: Spitfire IX
Base: RAF Kenley, Surrey, England.
Location: Near Bolbec, France.
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Victor Howard Miller R/8311 (USA) RCAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During the afternoon of the 24th August 402 squadron were escortIng United States Air Force B-17s on a bombing operation to the Le Trait shipyards.
During this circus they jumped 8 x Fw190s and during this combat they were then attacked by 40 x Fw190s from JG 26 and shot down near Bolbec. 402 Squadron also lost 3 other aircraft on the same operation:
Spitfire IX BS122 Flown by 23 year old P/O. Gerald MacKay, killed.
Spitfire IX BS198 Flown by Fl/Lt. Bland, managed to return to Kenley, wounded.
Spitfire IX BS202 Flown by 22 year old, Fl/Lt. Ian George Keltie , managed to return to Kenley - wounded in the leg. Also survived another incident on the 13th April 1944 (1).
Note: Spitfire BS136 was built on the 6th August 1942 at the Eastleigh factory and delivered to 402 on the 9th August. Fitted with the Merlin 61 engine.
(1) Ian George Secord Keltie DFC died in Toronto, Canada on Jan. 29. He was 86. DFC citation:
"Flight Lieutenant Keltie has completed a very large number of operational sorties, including 75 sweeps over enemy territory. Possessing exceptional qualities of leadership and administrative ability, this officer has led the squadron on many successful operations".
Above: St. Valery-en-Caux Franco-British Cemetery, photographed by our Kate Tame during her visit in 2012. Any relative who would like a higher resolution photograph of the grave, please dont hesitate to contact us.
Fl/Sgt. Victor Howard Miller. St. Valery-en-Caux Franco-British Cemetery. Grave A.15. Next of Kin details not available but it is known that Fl/Sgt. Miller was an American from Richmond, Illinois, U.S.A.
Researched for relatives of the pilot. With thanks to the following for further information supplied Les Allison and Harry Hayward - 'They Shall Grow Not Old', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 2, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. To our specialist genealogist Kate Tame for grave photographs.