1945 — Philippines
Technical Sgt. John E Miller was living in Bucks County, PA, John was born to Christian and Jennie Miller, lived on Hillendale St in Doylestown, PA. Siblings were (John E, 1st born) Christian H Jr., Edward J., Frank S., Robert B., and Doris M Miller.
John enlisted in Philadelphia 26 Aug 1941, was accepted into the AAC. He went to Radio School and Aerial Gunnery School before being assigned to the 494th Bomb Group (Pacific)
John E. Miller, 29 Killed Jan. 2, 1945; aerial engineer on bomber shot down over Philippines. In 1946, Doylestown’s local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter created Maplewood,a housing development in which each of the 11 streets was named in honor of the borough’s fallen World War II veterans. There are the11 / U.S. Army personnel.
T/Sgt John E Miller was an Aerial Gunner/Radio Operator on a B-24 Heavy, with the 7th AF, the 494th Bomb Group, 866th Bomb Squad on a Medium Altitude Bomb Strike Combat Mission from Angaur Island to (the Japanese held) Clark Field. His ship was the #44-40684 with the name of "Rip Snorter" (no art yet) This was a Crew Loss of 10 men that were shot-down at Sea on 2 Jan, 1945
MILLER John E 13028902 T SG FOD Aerial Engineer US AAC 2 Jan 1945
Luzon had been our first target in the Philippines on 17 November 1944. At that time the objective had been the runway of Legaspi (Sanborn) Airdrome, important staging base for Jap planes attacking our forces engaged on Leyte. This field, along with its auxiliary, Bulan Airdrome, was pounded regularly throughout November and December, and was in a thoroughly forlorn condition by the end of the year; the runways had been cratered, adjacent barracks and air installations destroyed, and the field generally rendered too vulnerable to be of much use as a staging base. Bulan was reduced to a similar condition. With the conclusion of the Leyte campaign, airfields on the Bicol Peninsula lost their immediate importance, and our operations were shifted to Northern Luzon, Our first mission over that area had been directed against the dispersal areas of Grace Park Airdrome on 23 December, and was one of the first of many strikes made by planes of the Far East Air Forces designed to annihilate the enemy's remaining stock of aircraft in the area prior to our landing at Lingayen on 9 January. On their first mission our planes, bombing through a partial cloud cover, were officially credited with twenty planes damaged on the ground, though unconfirmed reports gave a figure of thirty-five destroyed.
On Christmas Day our planes made their second strike in the area, hitting Mabalacat Airdrome, important Jap-built unit of the Clark Field Air Center. Fierce resistance was encountered, with anti-aircraft fire intense and accurate, and at least twenty-five Jap fighters intercepting. Despite this, five parked aircraft were destroyed on the ground and ten damaged. Six of the interceptors were shot down by our B-24's.
*****On two missions against units of Clark Field flown on January 2nd and 4th, our planes at medium altitude met intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire, and on the second raid two Jap fighters intercepted, one of which was shot down. One B-24 with Lt. Winnar's Crew was lost to enemy anti-aircraft fire on these two strikes, while four received major damage and eight minor damage. Damage to the target was great, with many direct hits in the dispersal areas, on the runways, on twenty four buildings, and on anti-aircraft and automatic weapons positions; three aircraft were destroyed and twenty-three damaged on the ground. On January 7th a strike against Grace Park Airdrome met sufficient fire from the ground to damage four of our B-24's; but the mission scored 80% of its bombs in the target areas, damaging at least eight parked aircraft and setting fire to a possible ammunition dump. *************************************************************************************************************************************
A number of other Luzon targets were struck during January. The materiel-laden town of Cabanatuan, supply center for Jap forces operating on the Luzon lowlands, was hit on January 14, and many buildings, including the railroad terminal, were damaged or destroyed. On January 18, buildings in Bamban Town, another enemy storage point, suffered many direct hits causing explosions and fires, while the railroad line outside the town was temporarily out. At this time American ground forces were operating in the vicinity of Tarlac, about 18 miles away. On 21 January our planes attacked the storage area near Bamban Airdrome where in a most notable example of precision bombing direct hits were scored with 1,000 pound bombs on an underground storage system difficult to distinguish from the air. Buildings in the dock area of Mariveles Town, unloading point for southern Bataan, suffered direct hits on 22 January, causing a large explosion and fires. The Batangas Bay Airfield was hit by a few planes which cratered the runway, and Calumbang Town was also bombed. During January some planes, unable to make the full flight to targets farther west, used Eulan and Legaspi Airdromes and installations at Legaspi Town as secondary targets; and Legaspi Town was the victim of one large strike on 12 January, when hits were scored on the important Legaspi Port railroad junction, which links Legaspi Port with Legaspi Town and the Manila Railway. After the end of January, Luzon targets were only twice hit by our planes; Bulan on 6 February by two planes unable to reach Corregidor, and Legaspi Airdrome's personnel area 27 March in the week preceding our landing at Legaspi. On these strikes no interception was encountered and anti-aircraft fire when encountered was meager and inaccurate.
(Barbi Ennis Connolly, WW II Researcher)
FROM John's name-sake (Nephew, I believe) John E Miller says; Salute to all who served and are serving today. Have any other Fire Co. members been lost in action? If so, might there be a plaque of recognition somewhere in the Fire House that I might have missed? Note: Sergeant Miller was MIA for quite a while before being re-classified as KIA since no remains or personal effects were ever found for any of the crew of his B-24 Liberator. His name appears on a stone plaque in the huge military cemetery in Manila, Philippines.