Sunderland First World War hero’s medals go up for auction

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THE OBE awarded to one of Sunderland’s first war pilots is to be auctioned today.

It was presented to Wing Commander Wilton Legender Milburn and, along with five of his other medals, will go for sale at Spink, in Bloomsbury, London.

Wing Commander Milburn was born in Sunderland in 1899.

He was a dental student at Durham University before he joined the Royal Flying Corps on May 29, 1917, the year before the Royal Air Force was founded on April 1, 1918.

During the First World War he served with 16 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, and flew RE8 planes, which were described as “a death trap” and “an incinerator of pilots”.

Many of these primitive and rickety aircraft were shot down.

Fortunately, Wing Commander Milburn somehow survived. His squadron, based at Bruay in France, was mainly deployed on reconnaissance and artillery observation.

After the war he served with the Royal Air Force until 1965, when he retired.

His medals being sold at Spink today are his OBE, his British War and Victory medals, his Defence Medal, his Coronation 1953 medal and his Cadet Forces Medal.

The medals are expected to fetch between £180 and £220.