Ronald George Mills DSO, DSC, RN

Born  27 Dec 1904


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Ranks

15 May 1924 A/S.Lt.
30 Nov 1924 S.Lt.
30 Apr 1926 Lt.
30 Apr 1934 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1940 Cdr.
31 Dec 1948 Capt.

Retired: 7 Jan 1958


Decorations

28 Jun 1940 DSC
6 Sep 1940 Bar to DSC
17 Jun 1941 DSO
24 Jul 1945 2nd Bar to DSC

Warship Commands listed for Ronald George Mills, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Tetrarch (N 77)Lt.Cdr.Submarine30 Nov 193915 Nov 1940
HMS Duckworth (K 351)Cdr.Frigate19 Nov 1943Feb 1945

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Submarine HMS Tetrarch (N 77)


24 Jan 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) departed her builders yard for for trials in the Clyde area. She was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (1)

25 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) conducted speed trials in Gare Loch. (1)

26 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) conducted a series of trials in Gare Loch. (1)

27 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) conducted engine trials in the Clyde area. (1)

28 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) conducted engine trials in the Clyde area. (1)

29 Jan 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) returns to her builders yard at Barrow. (1)

15 Feb 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) departed her builders yard at Barrow for Greenock where she arrived later the same day. (2)

18 Feb 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) was to depart Greenock for Portsmouth escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). But the sailing has to be postponed as Tetrarch developed problems with her after hydroplanes. (2)

24 Feb 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) carries out exercises with the destroyer HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN).

4 Mar 1940
After repairs to her after hydroplanes and a period of trials and training in Loch Long, HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) departed Greenock for Portsmouth. She is escorted by HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN). (2)

6 Mar 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (2)

12 Mar 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) departed Portsmouth for Portland for trials. She arrived at Portland later the same day. She was escorted by HMS Warrior II (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN). (2)

22 Mar 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) departed Portland for Portsmouth where she arrived later the same day. She was escorted by HMS Warrior II (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN). (2)

26 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) is docked at Portsmouth. The date of undocking is currently unknown to us.

13 Apr 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) departed Portsmouth for Rosyth escorted by HMS Foxglove (Lt.Cdr. T.I.S. Bell, RN). The next day she was ordered to patrol off Lister, Norway making this her 1st war patrol.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tetrarch during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

23 Apr 1940 (position 58.21, 10.24)
During an intense A/S hunt against her following a failed attack on an enemy convoy in which the German transport Ahrensburg (2988 GRT, 1939) was missed, HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) torpedoed and sank German auxiliary submarine chaser UJ B / Treff V (330 GRT, built 1936) in the Skagerrak in position 58°21'N, 10°24'E.

(All times are zone -1)
1830 hours - Sighted a Southbound enemy convoy bearing 270°, distance about 5 nautical miles. The convoy was made up of a large merchant vessel and three escorting destroyers. Started attack. [This was the above mentioned Ahrensburg escorted by T 153, T 155, F 5, F 8 and the minesweepers R 33, R 37 and R 40 on passage from Larvik to Fredrikshaven.]

1833 hours - In approximate position 58°18'N, 10°47'E fired two torpedoes, went deep and retired at high speed.

1837 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The three escorting destroyers were seen approaching down the torpedo tracks a high speed. One of the destroyers was only 1500 yards away. Tetrarch went to 300 feet at full speed and under full helm. The hunt for Tetrarch was now own and the first depth charges followed soon afterwards.

Around 2000 hours the hunt was taken over by a flotilla of A/S trawlers.

2220 hours - Surfaced but soon sighted two trawlers 1000 yards away coming straight towards [This were the submarine chasers UJ A and UJ B]. Two torpedoes were fired to discourage their approach. (One of these torpedoes was a hit on UJ-B but this was not noticed on board Tetrarch as she dived upon firing.) [As the torpedoes approached, UJ B made the fatal decision to turn away and was hit broadside on. There were only three survivors.]

Tetrarch was hunted and kept down all through the night. When it became light no ships were in shight but she was unable to surface for fear of detection from the air. Tetrarch eventually surfaced in position 58°45'N, 10°20'E at 2130 hours on 24 April 1940 and set a course for home. (3)

28 Apr 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Rosyth. (3)

10 May 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) was docked in a floating dock at Rosyth. (4)

11 May 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) left dock. (4)

12 May 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) departed Rosyth for her 2nd war patrol. She was to patrol off the West coast of Denmark and off the Skagerrak.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tetrarch during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

23 May 1940 (position 56.55, 6.50)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) damages the Danish fishing vessel L 61 / Terje Viken (28 GRT) in the North Sea in position 56°55'N, 06°50'E. [It was thought the ship had sunk but the scuttling was not properly done and she was found later by the Danish cutter Grethe adrift and abandoned and was towed to Thyborøn (information provided by Theodor Dorgeist).]

Shortly afterwards Tetrarch captures the Danish fishing vessel L 100 / Immanuel in position 56°59'N, 06°58'E. The ship is taken to Leith as a prize.

(all times are zone -1)
1202 hours - Surfaced in position 56°55'N, 06°50'E and proceeded on main motors to search for fishing vessels.

1215 hours - Embarked four crew from the Danish fishing vessel L 61 / Terje Viken and scuttled their vessel.

1235 hours - Sent a boarding party to the Danish fishing vessel L 100 / Immanuel under command of S.Lt. J.P. Fyfe, RN). Ordered him to make for Leith. While en-route to Leith, another Danish fisihing vessel, the L 156 / Jens Hvas (33 GRT) was captured by the prize crew of the Immanuel. Both ships now proceeded together to Leith. (3)

26 May 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Rosyth. (3)

29 May 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) was docked in a floating dock at Rosyth. (4)

30 May 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) was undocked. (4)

5 Jun 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) departed Rosyth for her 3rd war patrol. She was to patrol off the South coast of Norway.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tetrarch during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

16 Jun 1940 (position 58.12, 6.13)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) torpedoed and sank the German tanker Samland (5978 GRT, built 1929) south-west of Lista, Norway in position 58°12'N, 06°13'E.

(All times are zone -1)
0447 hours - Sighted an enemy transport vessel of about 8000 tons right ahead. Range was about 4 nautical miles. Started attack. Three or four small escorts (E-boats or R-boats) [Sammland was escorted by minesweepers from the 3rd R-Flotilla, R 33, R 34, R 35, R 36, R 37, R 38, R 39, R 40] were sighted to be screening the enemy.

0508 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 1500 yards and went to 60 feet. Two hits were obtained. Tetrarch eventually went to 250 feet. The enemy dropped only 2 depth charges which did no damage. The hunt continued until around 0900 hours.

0930 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. (3)

20 Jun 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Rosyth. (3)

3 Jul 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for her 4th war patrol. She was to patrol off the South-West coast of Norway near Bergen.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tetrarch during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

4 Jul 1940 (position 57.52, 2.47)
While en-route to her patrol area, HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) encounters a submarine in position 57°52'N, 02°47'E. An attack is started but not carried through.

(All times are zone -1)
2200 hours - Sighted a submarine bearing 330°, distance 2 nautical miles. The submarine was thought to be a u-boat so an attack was started.

2220 hours - After 20 minutes of steering a most erratic course the submarine altered course 360° and disappeared.

The submarine sighted might have been HMS Shark (Lt.Cdr. P.N. Buckley, RN). that had left Rosyth the previous day (like Tetrarch) and was also en-route to her patrol area. (3)

5 Jul 1940 (position 59.17, 3.15)
At 1938 hours (zone -1) HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) was attacked by 6 British Swordfish aircraft from 823 Squadron in position 59°17'N, 03°15'E. 5 torpedoes were dropped but no damage to Tetrarch was done as she dived upon spotting the aircraft.

The Swordfish aircraft were on a mission to intercept and attack a German light cruiser escorted by a destroyer that had departed Bergen earlier that day. (3)

15 Jul 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) attacked the German submarine U-57 with three torpedoes off the entrance to the Kors Fjord near Bergen, Norway. All torpedoes fired missed their target.

(All times are zone -1)
1840 hours - While off the entrance to the Kors Fjord what was thought to be a small sailing vessel was sighted. This however soon was seen to be a u-boat. Started attack.

1846 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 2500 yards. The enemy was able to evade the salvo as she turned hard to Port. Gun action was ordered but this was cancelled as the enemy was seen to submerge. (3)

18 Jul 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Rosyth. (3)

1 Aug 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for her 5th war patrol. She was to patrol off the West coast of Denmark.

For the daily positions of HMS Tetrarch during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

6 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) was recalled from patrol. (5)

10 Aug 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Rosyth. (3)

13 Aug 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for Newcastle for a short refit and docking. (4)

14 Aug 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) arrived at Newcastle. (4)

16 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) is docked at Newcastle. (6)

27 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) is undocked. (6)

28 Aug 1940
With her short refit and docking completed, HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN), departed Newcastle for Rosyth where she arrived later the same day. (4)

4 Sep 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC, RN) departed from Rosyth for Gibraltar. She is to join the Mediterranean Fleet.

Passage through British coastal waters was made together with HMS Triton (Lt. G.C.I.S.B. Watkins, RN). They were escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN) until 2130/7.

For the daily positions of HMS Tetrarch during this passage see the map below.

(7)

14 Sep 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (7)

20 Sep 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 6th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa before proceeding to Malta.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tetrarch during this patrol see the map below.

(8)

27 Sep 1940 (position 43.47, 9.34)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC and Bar, RN) attacked what was thought to be an Italian destroyer about 25 nautical miles South-West of La Spezia, Italy in position 43°47'N, 09°34'E. Two torpedoes were fired but these missed. A third torpedo was fired but this also missed. [The target has not yet been identified.]

(All times are zone -1)
2115 hours - While on the surface, charging, sighted a darkened ship about 3000 yards away bearing 200°. Started attack.

2123 hours - Fired two torpedoes which missed. The target was now seen to be a destroyer.

2210 hours - Fired another torpedo which also missed.

2212 hours - Dived. The target was lost out of sight soon after proceeding southwards.

2241 hours - Surfaced. (8)

4 Oct 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC and Bar, RN) attacked wat was identified as a patrol vessel in the Northern part of the Tyrrhenian Sea in position 41°42'N, 10°20'E. Two torpedoes were fired which both missed. [The target has not yet been identified.]

(All times are zone -1)
0035 hours - Sighted a patrol vessel bearing 0° distance about 2 nautical miles. Started attack.

0047 hours - Fired two torpedoes and dived. No hits were obtained.

0130 hours - Surfaced. (8)

11 Oct 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC and Bar, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (8)

14 Oct 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC and Bar, RN) was docked in No.1 Dry Dock at the Malta Dockyard. (9)

17 Oct 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC and Bar, RN) was undocked. (9)

27 Oct 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Malta for her 7th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Sirte.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Tetrarch during this patrol see the map below.

(8)

2 Nov 1940 (position 31.43, 19.13)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC and Bar, RN) had to break off an attack on an Italian convoy.

(All times are zone -1)
2026 hours - Sighted smoke of a convoy bearing 335°. Distance was thought to be about 5 nautical miles. Started attack.

2156 hours - Dived.

2200 hours - When in position 31°43'N, 19°13'E and about to open fire a motor boat was seen to aproach at high speed. Lt.Cdr. Mills abandoned the attack and took Tetrarch deep. (8)

4 Nov 1940 (position 31.36, 19.25)
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC and Bar, RN) torpedoed and heavily damaged the Italian merchant Snia Amba (2532 GRT, built 1918) about 50 nautical miles South-West of Benghazi, Libya in position 31°36'N, 19°25'E. The Italian ship was beached to prevent it from sinking and was later declared a total loss.

The Italian merchant Pallade (1152 GRT, built 1899) was missed in this attack. They were escorted by the Italian torpedo boat Giuseppe La Farina.

(All times are zone -1)
0840 hours - Sighted a convoy bearing 184°. Started attack.

The convoy was later seen to be made up of two large supply ships of 7000 and 5000 tons respectively. They were screened by several destroyers.

0925 hours - In position 31°36'N, 19°25'E fired three torpedoes at the largest merchant vessel, three at the smaller merchant vessel and one at the leading destroyer. Obtained one hit on the larger merchant ship.

0930 hours - Went to 250 feet.

0940 hours - Depth charging started. This continued to 1115 hours. In all 9 depth charges were dropped, all quite close.

1300 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Saw black smoke in the position of the attack. (8)

12 Nov 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Mills, DSC and Bar, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (8)

15 Nov 1940
HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. R.M.T. Peacock, RN) was docked in No.2 Dry Dock at the Malta Dockyard. (10)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16588
  2. ADM 199/2572
  3. ADM 199/1849
  4. ADM 173/16590
  5. ADM 199/373
  6. ADM 173/16593
  7. ADM 173/16594
  8. ADM 199/283
  9. ADM 173/16595
  10. ADM 173/16596

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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