McMillan, George Bray

Last Name:
McMillan


First Name:
George Bray
Nickname:
Mac
Born/Died
October 13, 1916 - June 24, 1944
Hometown:
Winter Garden, Florida
Squadron:
3rd Pursuit, Hell's Angels
Position:
Vice-Commander
   
Decorations:
2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 3 Air Medals, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Gold Star Citation and the Order of the Cloud and Banner 5th Class (Republic of China).
Pre AVG: George Bray McMillan grew up in Central Florida in the citrus community of Winter Garden, Florida. He was the son of Mr. & Mrs. Malcolm Y. McMillan. George graduated from Lakeview High School in Winter Garden, Marion Institute in Marion, Alabama, the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Air Corps Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas (1939). He served in the 20th Pursuit Group, 55th Pursuit Squadron, Moffet Field, California and the 23rd Composite Group, 1st Pursuit Squadron, Eglin Field, FL.
AVG Service: When recruited by the AVG, McMillan resigned as 1st Lt. in the US Army Air Corps at Orlando Field in Florida. He sailed on the Dutch ship Bloemfontein from San Francisco, on July 24, 1941. After stops in Honolulu, Batavia, Brisbane, and Singapore, he arrived in Rangoon, Burma aboard the Penang Trader on September 15. Throughout his AVG experience, he wrote letters to family members detailing his daily activities.

In Burma, McMillan served as a Flight Leader with the 3rd Pursuit Squadron, scoring 4.5 aerial victories while flying a P-40. During the Christmas Day 1941 encounter, McMillan’s plane received heavy enemy fire. He was wounded in his left shoulder and hand. He crash-landed his badly damaged plane in a rice paddy about four miles away from the nearest village. After procuring a horse and riding for 8 miles, he was met by local authorities who transported him to Mingaladon Airfield for treatment of his wounds.
Post AVG, WWII:
McMillan returned to the U.S. after the AVG was disbanded on July 4, 1942. On his return trip, he made stops in West Africa, India, and the Middle East. On July 16, 1942, he received a hero’s welcome in his hometown.

McMillan was recommissioned in the U.S. Army Air Force with the rank of Major and returned to China in 1943, flying once again under Major General Chennault. He served briefly in the Chinese-American Composite Wing and the 51st Fighter Group, before taking over as commanding officer of the 449th Fighter Squadron.

He attained the rank of Lt. Col. and scored four more aerial victories, flying a P-38 fighter aircraft, before being killed in action southeast of Pingsiang, China. He died on June 24, 1944 while on a strafing mission. After being hit by groundfire, McMillan attempted a forced landing, but the plane’s engine exploded and he was killed instantly. It was his 53rd mission upon returning to China.
Local villagers buried McMillan 100 yards from where his plane crashed, behind a temple. After the Japanese surrender, his body was reburied at the American Military Section of Hungjao Road Cemetery in Shanghai, China. His body is now interred with fellow Flying Tigers at Arlington National Cemetery.

-Contributed by the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation
Post War Career:
George Bray McMillan is officially listed as an Ace by the American Fighter Aces Assn., taking into account his 4.5 aerial victory credits with the AVG and 4 credits with the 14AF in the CBI during WWII.

To search,

enter a single word (ie. Michigan) or a single name (ie. Adair).