The son of George and Maria Caroline (Mess) Grinnell-Milne, Duncan William Grinnell-Milne served with his brother in the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) before he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps in July 1915. 2nd Lieutenant Grinnell-Milne received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 1609 on a Maurice Farman biplane at Military School, Shoreham on 17 August 1915. After training, he joined 16 Squadron in France where he scored his first victory flying the B.E.2. On 1 December 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 April 1918. In the final weeks of the war, Captain Grinnell-Milne scored five more victories as an S.E.5a pilot (giving the name "Schweinhund" to C1149), and assumed command of 56 Squadron on 17 December 1918. 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.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
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.