Harold John Milford (16 August 1914 – 6 April 1944), was a British Douglas Boston medium bomber observer who was taken prisoner during the Second World War. He took part in the 'Great Escape' from Stalag Luft III in March 1944, but was one of the men re-captured and subsequently shot by the Gestapo
Harold Milford was born in Streatham, the son of William John Milford a railway worker and his wife Ada Frances and grew up in Medora Road in the Tulse Hill area with his parents and two sisters. In the spring of 1940 he married Marion Heather.
Milford joined No. 226 Squadron RAF flying the Douglas Boston medium bomber on daylight precision bombing operations from RAF Swanton Morley against industrial targets and power stations. The medium bombers were invariably met by Luftwaffe day fighters often from the ace Jagdgeschwader 26.
At 10:50 on the morning of 22 September 1942 he took off in Douglas Boston (serial number "AL743"). The bombers were met by the Luftwaffes JG 26 and Milford's crew bailed out he was captured in a haystack and sent to Stalag Luft III.
Milford was one of the 76 men who escaped the prison camp on the night of 24–25 March 1944, in the escape now famous as "the Great Escape" His body was cremated in Breslau's crematorium. He was one of the 50 escapers executed and murdered by the Gestapo.
(Milford second from right at the table- picture courtesy of Media Drum)