Flight Sergeant Ian (Graham) Miller was an air gunner on an Avro Lancaster Mk1, LM127, KO-H with RAF 115 Squadron. He was the son of Kathleen Graham Miller (née Lipp) of 51 Priory Place, Craigie, Perth.
Avro Lancaster Mk.1, LM127, code KO-H, took off from RAF Witchford in Cambridgeshire, at 20.27 hrs on 26 August 1944. They were on an operation to bomb Keil in northern Germany a major naval port and shipbuilding centre of the German Reich. Lancaster LM 127 carried a bomb load of 1 x 4000 lb High Explosive (blockbuster or cookie), 900 x 4 lb incendiaries, and 96 x 30 lb incendiaries. The aircraft was fitted with HS2 (Fishpond), a ground scanning radar system that identified the targets on the ground during bad weather and at night.
The Pathfinder aircraft were hampered finding the target by smoke screens, but a successful raid was carried out. There was heavy bombing in the town centre and surrounding area with widespread fires that were fanned by a strong wind. The Rathaus (Town Hall) and many public buildings were destroyed or damaged. In total 372 Avro Lancaster’s and 10 de Haviland Mosquitoes of RAF Nos 1, 3 and 8 Groups attacked Keil that night. RAF 115 Squadron lost three Lancaster’s and 19 aircrew were killed, in total 17 Lancaster’s were lost.
Avro Lancaster Mk.1, LM127, crashed into the North Sea, on board were:
Flying Officer James Edward Morgan, RAFVR (182018) pilot, age 29
Sergeant Kenneth Percy Coote RAFVR (3000114) flight engineer, age 19
Flight Sergeant Eric Young RAFVR (1487006) navigator, age 23
Flying Officer Desmond Francis O’Sullivan RAFVR (151430) bomb aimer, age 27
Sergeant Maurice Bell RAFVR (1621754) wireless operator, age 21
Flight Sergeant Ian Graham Campbell Miller, RAFVR (1552376) air (mid-upper) gunner, age 22
Pilot Officer Tom Yates RCAF (J/95439) air (rear) gunner, age 26
Flying Officer James Edward Morgan and Flying Officer Desmond Francis O’Sullivan are buried at Esbjerg (Fovfeld Gravlund) Cemetery in Denmark. Pilot Officer Tom Yates is buried at Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands. Flying Officer James Morgan’s body was washed ashore near Vester Vedsted, Denmark, and was buried by the Wehrmacht where he was found. His remains were disinterred on 7 November 1945 and laid to rest in the Fovfeld cemetery. The Runnymede Memorial perpetuates the names of the rest of the crew whose bodies were not found.
A Blockbuster bomb exploding in conjunction with the incendiary bombs could destroy an entire street. The minimum drop height for a Blockbuster bomb was 6,000 feet in order to avoid damage to the aircraft from the shock wave of the explosion.
H2S radar remained in service for nearly 50 years with the RAF until 1993. It was last employed in military conflict during the Falklands War in 1982 on the Avro Vulcan bombers.
Ian Miller left for Canada with his father and sister in 1927. When he returned is not known. The ship, they departed for Canada in was the S. S. Athenia, this was the first UK ship to be sunk by the Germany military during World War II.
AIRCRAFT OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE: AVRO 683 LANCASTER. (ZZZ 2954D) Annotated view of the instrument panel and flying controls of an Avro Lancaster B Mark I. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207925