Duncan William Grinnell-Milne served with his brother in the 7th Royal
Fusiliers before he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps in July 1915. After training,
he joined 16 Squadron in France where he scored his first victory flying the B.E.2. Toward the end of 1915 he was forced to land behind the German lines and captured, spending more than two years as a POW before he escaped to France in
early 1918. Later that year, Grinnell-Milne assumed command of 56 Squadron and scored 5
more victories as an S.E.5a pilot in
the final weeks of the war. In 1919 and 1920, he served with 214 Squadron and 14 Squadron
in Egypt. After serving as assistant Air-Attache in Paris, he left the Royal Air Force in
1926 with more than 2000 hours of flight time in various aircraft. During World War II,
Grinnell-Milne returned to service, flying Wellington bombers over Libya in 1940 before
health problems forced him out of the RAF. He took a job with the BBC, remaining there
until 1946. In later life, he became a well known author, publishing several books
including his memoirs "Wind in the Wires."
Birth registered in the 3rd quarter of 1896 at Bromley, Kent; living in Beckham, Kent when he enlisted. Named his S.E.5a (C1149) "Schweinhund."
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lieut. (A./C'apt.) D'uncan Grinnell-Milne. (FRANCE)
This officer has shown exceptional gallantry and disregard of danger on numerous occasions, notably on 5th October, when he obtained a direct hit on a train with a bomb; he then attacked and destroyed in flames a balloon on the ground. On his return journey he attacked troops and transport with marked success, dropping his last bomb in the middle of a crowd of enemy troops.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 8 February 1919 (31170/2039)