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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

John Whitla Millar

In memory of:

Flying Officer John Whitla Millar

February 8, 1943


Off the Coast of France

Military Service


Service Number:

J/9415

Age:

28

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

44 (Rhodesia) Squadron

Citation(s):

1939-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Defense Medal, War Medal 1939-45, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. Posthumously awarded RCAF Operational Wings in recognition of gallant service in action against the enemy, the 5 July 1946.

Additional Information


Born:

January 4, 1915
Edmonton, Alberta

Enlistment:

April 21, 1941
Edmonton, Alberta

Son of William Anderson and Catherine Gracey (nee Whitla) Millar, of Edmonton, Alberta. Brother of Lt. James Lea Millar and Lt. William Anderson Millar and Donald Millar.

Commemorated on Page 194 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
Surrey, United Kingdom

Grave Reference:

Addenda panel 291

Location:

During the Second World War more than 116,000 men and women of the Air Forces of the British Commonwealth gave their lives in service. More than 17,000 of these were members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, or Canadians serving with the Royal Air Force. Approximately one-third of all who died have no known grave. Of these, 20,450 are commemorated by name on the Runnymede Memorial, which is situated at Englefield Green, near Egham, 32 kilometers by road west of London.

The design of the Runnymede Memorial is original and striking. On the crest of Cooper's Hill, overlooking the Thames, a square tower dominates a cloister, in the centre of which rests the Stone of Remembrance. The cloistered walks terminate in two lookouts, one facing towards Windsor, and the other towards London Airport at Heathrow. The names of the dead are inscribed on the stone reveals of the narrow windows in the cloisters and the lookouts. They include those of 3,050 Canadian airmen. Above the three-arched entrance to the cloister is a great stone eagle with the Royal Air Force motto, Per Ardua ad Astra". On each side is the inscription:

IN THIS CLOISTER ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF TWENTY THOUSAND AIRMEN WHO HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE. THEY DIED FOR FREEDOM IN RAID AND SORTIE OVER THE BRITISH ISLES AND THE LANDS AND SEAS OF NORTHERN AND WESTERN EUROPE

In the tower a vaulted shrine, which provides a quiet place for contemplation, contains illuminated verses by Paul H. Scott."

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Memorial– Father J P Lardie's comments as inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Flying Officer John Whitla Millar is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Flying Officer John Whitla Millar is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Photo of John Millar– Flying Officer Millar graduated as a pilot from the Commonwealth Air 
Training Program in December, 1941.

Bomber training in England commenced in March, 1942 with successive postings 
to Leonfield, Kirmington, Dishforth, Finningley and Wigsley.

On December 31, 1942 F/O Millar and his crew were assigned to #44 Rhodesia 
Squadron, Waddington, Lincolnshire.

The Lancaster crew of seven was comprised of five Canadians and two 
non-Canadians.  Canadian crew members were:

WO2 H.G. Black (WAG), Avida Que.
Sgt. R.W. Drury (FE), Vancouver, B.C.
WO2 K.M. Perkins (OB), Toronto, Ont.
FS. Scrimgoer (AG), Toronto, Ont.
F/O J.W. Millar (P), Edmonton, Alta.

F/O Millar completed two operational training missions with another crew and 
he and his crew were lost on their fifth mission, February, 8, 1944.  The 
target was a U-Boat base at Lorient, France.

F/O Millar's body was washed up on the North Sea shore near Lemvig, Denmark 
and he is buried in the military section of the local cemetery.  The 
remaining crew have no known graves.

F/O Millar was an outstanding athlete and excelled as a leader in secondary 
and university sports.
  • Letter– Mr. & Mrs. Millar had three sons in the Armed Forces.  One was captured in the Dieppe raid of 19 Aug 42, Jack was in the RCAF, and the other was in the Middle East with the Army.  The letter is self explanatory.  


Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Letter (2)– This letter is from the RCAF HQ in Britain to the third son in the Artillery in the Middle East.  His father received a letter from a son named 'Jack'. F/O JW Millar was 'Jack' but he died in February 43.  This letter asks if the third son sent it since the second son is now a POW.  
Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Letter (3)– By February of 1944, they still have no reply from the remaining son.  The truth is that this man, Lt. Millar is nicknamed 'Jack'.  He sent the telegram to his father.  The parents had hoped it was F/O JW Millar and that he was a POW.  
F/O JW Millar is unfortunately, dead.  The other two brothers seem to have survived the war.
Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document– By 1946, the MREUnits of the RAF have located most of the graves of missing airmen.  In Denmark the check the cemetery records and find and grave with an Allied flier in it named J. M. Miller.  They check to find out if he is Canadian. The answer is no.
Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Letter (4)– This letter from the RCAF says that he isn't Canadian because the initials(J M) and the spelling of the name "Miller" in the cemetery registry are incorrect.   Is he an RAF flier?  If the RAF say he isn't, then just leave the grave marked as MILLAR, JW.


Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Excerpt from Lemvig's Cemetery Record Book
  • Letter– Air Ministry Letter 3 July 51
This letter ends with the statement that the RCAF and RAF agree that the body in this grave is not that of John W. Millar. 

Source: Library and Archives Canada via Robert W Whitehouse
  • Newspaper Clipping– From the Edmonton Journal. Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me
  • Biography (Page 1)
  • Biography (Page 2)

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