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Record detail

Full Name
Mervyn Jack Mills
Rank Last Held
Flying Officer (Pilot Officer)
Forename(s)
Mervyn Jack
Surname
Mills
Also Known As
Boy
War
World War II, 1939-1945
Serial No.
NZ414321
Gender
Male
Date of Birth
19 February 1923
Place of Birth
Auckland, New Zealand
Religion
Church of England
Occupation before Enlistment
Warehouseman
Next of Kin
Mrs G.E. Mills (mother), 22 Scarborough Terrace, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand
Marital Status
Single
Enlistment Address
22 Scarborough Terrace, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand
Physical Description
  • Height: 5 feet 6.5 inches
  • Weight: 130 pounds
  • Eye colour: Brown
  • Hair colour: Dark
  • Other: average physique, average mentality, leg length 40 inches
  • Chest: 31.5 inches
Enlistment Date
27 July 1941
Age on Enlistment
18
Body on Embarkation
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Embarkation Date
17 November 1941
Destination
Canada
Other Units
Attached RAF
Military Training
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), No. 6 Service Flying Training School, Dunnville, Ontario, Canada
Campaigns
Europe
Military Awards
  • Air Crew Europe Star
  • Defence Medal
  • War Medal 1939-1945
  • New Zealand War Service Medal
  • 1939-1945 Star
Last Unit Served
Royal New Zealand Air Force, 132 Squadron, RAF
Place of Death
Europe
Date of Death
19 November 1942
Age at Death
19
Year of Death
1942
Memorial Name
Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom
Memorial Reference
Panel 114
Biographical Notes
  • Son of George William Alfred Worthy Mills and Gwendoline Eleanor Mills of Parnell, Auckland.
  • Mervyn Jack Mills was born at Auckland on 19 February 1923. He had two sisters. He received his primary education at Te Kuiti Primary School (1928 - 1931 approximately) and Parnell Primary School (1932-1934) and his secondary education (studying electrical engineering) at the Seddon Memorial Technical College (1935-1936). His hobbies were shooting and swimming.
  • At the time he enlisted for war service with the RNZAF in June 1940, he was employed as a Warehouseman by J Wiseman and Sons Ltd, Auckland. Elsewhere in his service record his trade is described as a saddlery salesman.
  • Mills was enlisted for aircrew training on 27 July 1941 at the Ground Training School, Levin, and was posted on 8 September to No 4 Elementary Flying Training School, Whenuapai, to commence his flying training. On 17 November 1941 he embarked for Canada to continue his training under the Empire Air Training Scheme.
  • He was posted to No 6 Service Flying Training School in Dunnville, Ontario, shortly after his arrival in Canada. It was while he was stationed there on 27 March 1942 that he was awarded his flying badge and promoted to Sergeant. This was superseded by his being commissioned as a pilot officer with effect from the same date. On 1 October 1942, while in Wales, he was promoted to flying officer. Meanwhile, on 5 April 1942, he proceeded to No 1 "Y" Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia to await embarkation for the United Kingdom.
  • Having arrived in England in mid May 1942, Mills was held at No 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth, until posted on 3 July 1942 to No 5 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit, Ternhill, Shropshire. From here he was posted on 22 July 1942 to No 53 Operational Training Unit, first at Landlow, and later to Rhoose, both in Glamorganshire, Wales. With his unit he completed his training on Spitfire fighter aircraft prior to being posted on 14 October 1942 to No 132 Squadron, Martlesham, Suffolk, to commence operational flying.
  • As the pilot of a Spitfire fighter he engaged in sixteen operational flights, mostly convoy patrols but including one low level attack against an enemy objective and one enemy aircraft interception flight.
  • Mills was the pilot of a Spitfire fighter which failed to return to its base and he was classified as missing. His death was officially presumed to have occurred on 19 November 1942 as a result of air operations. At the time of his death he had completed 273 flying hours as a pilot.
Description of Image
  • Portrait, Flying Officer Mervyn Jack Mills RNZAF 414321
  • Portrait, Mills at the age of about 13 years, walking down Queen Street, Auckland
  • Portrait, Mills, side view, sitting on a motorbike in the garden, in uniform including great coat, cap, gloves, hedge in background
  • Portrait, Mills, front view, sitting on a motorbike in the garden, in uniform, number plate 9.437; headlight
  • Portrait, head and shoulders: Mills in uniform, cap, wings badge in background stone/brick building
  • Portrait, : Mills "all togged out in his Sunday best. Or rather, second best uniform" standing in front of a building, door open
  • Portrait, Mills in uniform leaning against car his hand reaching inside the window, trees do not have leaves, uniform does not have wings badge
  • Group, WW2, airman and woman, Mills in overcoat, with an unidentified woman also in overcoat, both smiling standing in front of a car, house, perhaps snow on the car rear window
  • Group, WW2, airman, Mills and his friend Mrs Knoll. Mills has cap, jacket with wings badge, embracing his friend. Standing in front of large houses, trees without leaves, pavement
  • Cartoon, caricature, portrait of Mills in uniform, with cap, wings badge, stripe on lower sleeve, red lips, smiling. Captioned "Mervyn Mills visits the NZ Forces Club"
  • Portrait, 1942, Mills standing, wearing leather jacket, standing in corner of brick walled area. Mills had written the following on the back of the original photograph "25-3-42 - Yours Truly. Taken outside the Dormitory at Dunnville on day of the last flight at Dunnville. I was in a hurry to get back into the air. Hence the clothing and worried expression. Note the flying boots."
  • Group, 2 airmen, Levin 1941, Mervyn Jack Mills (NZ414321) and Alick Mewa (NZ414320) awhile at aircrew training in Levin in 1941, standing in front of Hut 98, wearing flying helmets, gloves and boots.
  • Group, Class photo: Flight 4 B, Squadron 1RNZAF Training Camp, Levin 1941
  • The dormitory at Dunnville, Ontario, 114B. "The Yanks and Canacks slept in the far end. NZ in the foreground".
  • Group, 9 airmen standing in front of wooden hut, trees in background: Mervyn Jack Mills (NZ414321) and Alick Mewa (NZ414320) 3rd from left
  • Group, 9 airmen standing in front of wooden hut named Tiger Road, Mills and colleagues wearing flying helmets
  • Group, WW2, informal, airman and unidentified man and woman, Mills about to throw a snowball, standing in front of steel railings ; large bridge in background
  • Group, WW2, informal, two airmen in uniform, airman in civilian clothes and woman: From left to right: Lyall King, Jim Shields, Mrs Knoll and Mervyn Jack Mills (NZ414321). Binnie the dog in front, all standing on the steps outside a house.
  • Groups, airmen: Mervyn Jack Mills (NZ414321) with Pravik, a Czech airman, taken at Chudleigh, Devonshire on 19 June 1942. On the back of the original photograph Mills wrote "Pravikslow is one of the nicest chaps I have ever met. Please ignore cigarette in my hand, was just being sociable. (AHEM)."
  • The New Zealand Memorial Cross for Mills NZ414321.
  • Identity tag, WW2, RNZAF, P.O. Mills NZ414321.
  • Letter of condolence from King George sent to his family.
Further References
Sources Used
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission. URL: http://www.cwgc.org
  • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch: Volplane Press.
  • Correspondence with family
Previous Military Experience
School Cadets, 1 year
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