2Lt Howard R Miller

2Lt Howard R Miller

Birth
Washington, USA
Death 24 Dec 1944 (aged 19–20)
Liège, Belgium
Burial Henri-Chapelle, Arrondissement de Verviers, Liège, Belgium
Plot Plot E, Row 8, Grave 50
Memorial ID 56283800 · View Source
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Second Lieutenant Howard R. Miller, Army serial number O-779188, was born in Washington in 1924, and resided at Spokane, Spokane County, Washington. His parents were Charles A. Miller (Feb 1888 – unk), who was born in Iowa; and Anadine Miller (abt 1890 – unk), who was born in Rhode Island. He had a sister, Lucille Miller (abt 1920 – unk). He completed four years of high school, and was single, without dependents, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps at Moscow, Latah County, Idaho on November 4, 1942.

He completed Army Air Forces pilot training and was assigned as copilot on the heavy bomber crew of Lt Kenneth W. Lang. The Lang crew completed B-17 operational training at Alexandria Army Air Base, Louisiana, and was assigned to the 838th Bomb Squadron of the 487th Bomb Group. This Group was based at Army Air Forces Station 137 near Lavenham, Suffolk, England. The Lang crew arrived at Station 137 by October 31, 1944, and became part of the 8th U.S. Army Air Force in Europe. Here is the Lang crew roster on December 24, 1944:

B-17G 44-8192 – 838th Bomb Squadron
Lang, Kenneth W – 2/Lt – Pilot – KIA
• Miller, Howard R – 2/Lt – Copilot – KIA
• Alvine Jr, Samuel – F/O – Navigator – Safe
• Lang, George F – 2/Lt – Bombardier – Safe
• Weber, James A – S/Sgt – Engineer – Safe
Huck, Donald R – Sgt – Radio Operator – KIA
• Yowan, Robert C – Sgt – Ball Turret Gunner – Safe
Kausrud, Donald C – S/Sgt – Waist Gunner – KIA
Haskett, Charles W – Sgt – Tail Gunner – Safe

On December 24, 1944, the 8th Air Force launched mission #760, the largest aerial mission of the war, which involved more than 2000 heavy bombers. The mission was to bomb German airfields and supply lines, to stop the German offensive in the Ardennes known as the Battle of the Bulge. The 487th Bomb Group led the entire 8th Air Force on this mission. Lt Lang's crew flew B-17G 44-8192 in the number eleven position of the 487th Bomb Group's Low Squadron. The Group's target was the airfield at Babenhausen, Germany, but the formation was attacked south of Liege, Belgium, before the Allied fighter cover arrived. German fighters shot down six of thirteen aircraft in the Low Squadron, including B-17G 44-8192. Lt Miller and three of his crewmates were killed in action. He and Lt Lang were probably killed by enemy gunfire on the flight deck. Sgt Huck and Sgt Kausrud were probably killed by enemy gunfire at their positions in the waist. Sgt Yowan was wounded by enemy gunfire in the ball turret, but he was able to exit the turret and bail out of the burning aircraft along with four others. The survivors landed in friendly territory and were recovered by American forces. The aircraft crashed near Louveigne, Belgium.

Lt Miller is buried at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Belgium, in Plot E, Row 8, Grave 50. There is another photo of his grave posted on the 487th Bomb Group website.

Sources:
1. 487th Bomb Group Association

2. 1900 US Census; Iowa; Jackson County; Fairfield Township. Miller, David. 18 Jun 1900 (his grandfather)

3. 1940 US Census; Washington; Spokane County; Spokane City. Miller, Charles A. 5 Apr 1940 (his father)

4. American Battle Monuments Commission

5. de Jong, Ivo. The History of the 487th Bomb Group (H). Paducah KY: Turner Publishing, Oct 2004

6. Enlistment Record of Howard R. Miller

7. Haskett, Charles W. Battle of the Bulge Memories: The Last Mission. 2002 (tail gunner on the Kenneth Lang crew)

8. U.S. Army Air Forces Missing Air Crew Report 11258

9. U.S. War Department. World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel. Washington, D.C., June 1946

10. Yowan, Robert G. Personal Conversation. 2 Oct 2014 (a crewmate; he confirmed that the Lang crew completed B-17 operational training at Alexandria, Louisiana)

Research by:
Paul Webber
Secretary, 487th Bomb Group Association
Find A Grave member ID 47577572


Inscription

HOWARD R. MILLER
2LT   838 BOMB SQ   487 BOMB GP (H)
WASHINGTON   DEC 24 1944

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Washington.

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  • Maintained by: Paul Webber
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56283800
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 2Lt Howard R Miller (1924–24 Dec 1944), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56283800, citing Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial, Henri-Chapelle, Arrondissement de Verviers, Liège, Belgium ; Maintained by Paul Webber (contributor 47577572) .