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A World War II Purple Heart Veteran Aviation Radioman First Class
by Arthur Miller, Jr., November 2009

Arthur Carl Miller, will be brought home by the U.S. Navy and laid to rest in the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery with his Mother on November 7 th. Miller, a native of Poughkeepsie, enlisted in the Navy on April 27, 1938.

He entered into the Naval training station at Newport, Rhode Island and was assigned to duty as a signalman aboard the cruiser Wichita. In April 1941 he transferred from signal duty to aviation and went to gunnery school, he served as a rear gunner on a Navy bomber and was a veteran of 30 bombing raids and 50 hops.

In addition to the Atlantic-Pacific service, Miller served in the European theater and American defense area and assigned to carriers engaged in anti-submarine patrol.

While stationed at Guadalcanal, on at least two occasions during the days of prolonged and bitter fighting the Navy Squadron to which he was attached had many Japanese ships destroyed or damaged to his credit.

On Sept 13,1944 the aircraft, a TBM-avenger took off from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise on a mission over the Palau Islands. Onboard was Radioman Miller along with Ordnance man Second Class Wesley R. Stuart and Ensign Donald E. Baxter the pilot of that plane, on a do or die mission to take the island from the Japanese.

The aircraft was struck and damaged by anti-aircraft fire over one of the Palau Islands known as Peleliu and was last seen entering a steep dive and crashing immediately north of the Japanese held airfield. (The crash site was on a hill top that later became known as Pope’s Ridge, after Everett Pope, a US Marine officer who took the hill from the Japanese a week after the plane crashed.) All three crew members where listed as missing in action and later presumed dead.

Thanks to modern day technology (Mitochondrial DNA testing) and the efforts of all the members at the Bent Prop Organization and Joint POW/MIA accounting command (JPAC) Aviation Radioman First Class Arthur C. Miller after being missing for 65 years, will be coming home.

Click For EnlargementFor his funeral there will be a Navy Honor Guard and Chaplin. Invited to attend are the Patriot Guard Riders, Rolling Thunder, VFW and American legion.

For more information about BentProp.org and how they search for and find MIA’s visit BentStarProject.org. Available on is a DVD Last Flight Home that tells a story about the three airman, their families and their mission.

You may also make a donation to help fund future expeditions to search for and find MIA’s. Helping to bring home our fallen heroes because it’s never too late.

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