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Henry L Mills

Military

Major Mills 'Hank' was born in New York City on 18 October 1917. His various civilian accomplishments were playing varsity football while attending Dartmouth college and earning a Bachelor of Arts degree, as well as graduating in 1939. He then went to join the RCAF in Canada upon the outbreak of war in Europe.
Upon earning his wing as a Pilot Officer he was posted to No. 71 Eagle squadron. In October 1942 he transferred to the USAAF and was assigned to the 4th Fighter Group, 334th Squadron.
His first kills were two Fw-190s on 16 August 1943 while flying a P-47 Thunderbolt. In October he was appointed Squadron Operations Officer. In February 1944 he became an "Ace" and was soon promoted to Major. On 6 March he downed his last enemy aircraft an Fw-190, and minutes later, he was shot down; his engine failed, and he had to bail out immediately, becoming a Prisoner of War.
He escaped from his Stalag Luft III in March 1945 and returned to England.
He was discharged in 1946. Upon his return to life as a civilian he established Mills, Talbot, and Company, dealing with electrical manufactures in New York and New England, retiring in 1987.
Hank had flown Spitfires, Thunderbolts, and Mustangs and had destroyed six enemy aircraft. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Purple Heart.

Service

People

  • Dale Hall

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Crew Chief/Maintenance | 4th Fighter Group
    Major Henry L Mills Crew Chief, 334th FS, 4th FG, 8th AF, USAAF.

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Units served with

  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    Group
    Some of the pilots of the 4th Fighter Group had seen many hours of combat by the time they joined the 4th Fighter Group as they had volunteered with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force. The three 'Eagle Squadrons' of RAF Fighter...

  • 334th Fighter Squadron

    334th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 334th Fighter Squadron was the successor to No. 71 Eagle squadron of the Royal Air Force when the 4th Fighter Group was activated on 12 September 1942. They were based at Debden Field, Essex. The "Fighting Eagles" as they were called, flew...

  • No. 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    Squadron
    'On 19 September 1940, No. 71 was reformed at Church Fenton as the first 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American personnel. The Squadron received Hurricanes in November and became operational on defensive duties on 5 February 1941. No. 71 converted...

  • 8th Air Force

Aircraft

  • 42-74751

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 43-6690

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort mission to Berlin. A/C abandoned engine failure, pilot Maj Henry Mills baled 6-Mar-44. POW. MACR 3044.

  • 41-6191

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    One-time aircraft of [then] Lt Henry L "Hank" Mills. Assigned to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF. Transferred to 397FS 368FG 9AF.

  • AD564

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire AD564 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • 41-6187 'Quack!' 'Uncle Den'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47C Thunderbolt QP-L 41-6187 of the 334th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group, 8th AF. ...

Missions

  • VIII Fighter Command DEFENSIVE PATROL

    6 March 1943
    4th Fighter Group despatches 14 Spitfires on defensive patrols along the English coast.

  • VIII Fighter Command FO-105 BOMBER ESCORT

    16 August 1943
    A combined force of 180 P-47s (all with belly tanks) are despatched from : 4FG; 56FG; 78FG; and 353FG to escort VIII Bomber Command mission #83 attacking German airfields in France at Paris (Le Bourget), Poix and Abbeville. 3 aircraft Failed to Return ...

Associated Place

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...

  • Kirton-in-Lindsey

    Military site : airfield
    Used as an RFC and RAF Home Defence landing ground during the First World War, Kirton-in-Lindsey was built during 1938-40 as an RAF fighter station. It had two grass runways, 10 hardstandings, three grouped C hangars and four over-blister hangars....

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...

Events

Event Location Date
Born New York, NY, USA 18 October 1917

18-10-1917, New York, NY, USA.

Joined RCAF Canada 1939

Joined Royal Canadian Air Force.

Service training Tulsa, OK, USA 1940

Underwent service pilot training.

Shipped overseas Merseyside, UK 1940

Shipped overseas to ETO.

Operational training Great Britain, United Kingdom 1940

Operational training at OTU. Conversion to Hurricane and Spitfires.

Assigned Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 1941 – 29 September 1942

Assigned to 71 [Eagle] squadron RAF.

Transferred Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 13 October 1942 – 6 March 1944

Transferred to the 334th FS, 4th FG, 8th AF USAAF.

Prisoner of War (POW) Stalag Luft III Zagan, Poland 6 March 1943 – March 1945

Became a Prisoner of War.
He escaped from his Stalag Luft III in March 1945 and returned to England.

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 23 April 1943

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant 23-4-43.

Crashed Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 19 June 1943

Crashed Belly Landing Debden, P-47C 41-6191, Cat 3 damage, pilot Henry L Mills. 19-6-43.

E/A Kills Total 2 16 August 1943

Two Fw190 kills in P-47C 42-74751.

Designated Flight [B] Commander Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 10 September 1943

Designated Flight Commander B Flight. 10-9-43.

Designated Sqn Op's Officer Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 29 October 1943

Designated Squadron Operations Officer 29-10-43, having been promoted to Captain earlier in the month.

E/A Kill Total 5 France February 1944

Made Ace status.

Promoted Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 1 March 1944

Promoted to Major.

Shot down Germany 6 March 1944

Shot down in P-51B 43-6690 QP-Q, his engine having failed, baled out immediately, becoming a POW. 6-3-44. MACR 3044.

E/A Kill Total 6 Germany 6 March 1944

Downed his 6th and final enemy aircraft kill, an Fw190.

Died LaBelle, FL 33935, USA 26 April 2005

Died 26 April 2005, LaBelle, FL.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2016 13:08:17 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations
Sources

http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/336_mi...

Date Contributor Update
07 October 2015 23:40:03 Al_Skiff Changes to events
Sources

http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/334_mi...

Date Contributor Update
07 October 2015 23:08:09 Al_Skiff Changes to events
Sources

http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbapi.asp?Pilot=Mills%2C+Henry+L

Date Contributor Update
07 October 2015 22:58:14 Al_Skiff Changes to nickname, role, biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/334_mi...

Date Contributor Update
06 March 2015 18:07:03 apollo11 Changes to highest rank, biography, awards, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th Fighter Group' by Frank Speer.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:12:44 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 3044 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list / http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/pilots.html / son/ MACR 3044, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces

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