1Lt Robert F Miller

1Lt Robert F Miller

Greene County, Missouri, USA
Death 20 Dec 1942 (aged 23–24)
Burial Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines
Memorial ID 56779838 · View Source
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He was the son of J Fred Miller and Nellie Miller. He had a sister named Elsie F Miller. He completed four years of college and was employed as a Teller-Bank Keeper prior to enlisting. He was single, without children.

He enlisted into the US Army Air Corp as an Aviation Cadet on 28 April 1941 at Jefferson Barracks, Lemay, Missouri. Afterward, he went to Barksdale Air Base in Bossier, Louisiana for additional flight training. Eventually, he was assigned to the 90th Bomb Squadron.

1LT Miller was assigned as a Co-Pilot and crew member on a B-25D Mitchell aircraft, a member of the 90th Bomber Squadron Group Light, 3rd Bomber Group. The 3rd Bombardment Group was a light bomber group that took part in the long campaign in New Guinea and the re-conquest of the Philippines, before flying a few missions over Japan before the end of the war.

After the Japanese entry into the war, the group was sent to Australia, arriving in February 1942. The newly arrived group was fully equipped but inexperienced. In contrast the 27th Bombardment Group had been caught in the fighting on the Philippines (as infantry) and on Java (as airmen). The surviving aircrews from the fighting on Java were assigned to the 3rd Bombardment Group, giving it a core of experienced men.

The group began operations with its B-25 Mitchells' in early April 1942. It was based in Australia, but used Port Moresby as a staging post. Its early operations were against targets on New Guinea, where the group helped to stop the Japanese advance towards Port Moresby and then took part in the Allied counterattacks. The group also was also used for reconnaissance missions, flying more than 120 recon sorties in May 1942, partly looking for the Japanese fleet in the Coral Sea.

By July 1942, the group had a mix of aircraft with twenty two A-24s, thirty-eight A-20 Havoc Bombers and seventeen B-25 Mitchell Medium Bombers. The number of B-25s slowly rose and by the end of the summer two squadrons were operating the type. The group operated as far away as Rabaul, New Britain Provence, Papa New Guinea, but most sorties were nearer to their bases.

On 20 December, 1942, LT Donald Emerson was the pilot of B-25D Mitchell, #41-29706 of the 90th Bomb Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group , USAAF, when it disappeared about 70 miles north of Osprey Reef area about 140 miles from the Australian coast during bad weather. No further news. It was in the process of making a permanent move from Charter Towers to Port Moresby when it encountered bad weather.

LT. Emerson, attempted to fly below a rain squall but caught a wing on the water and crashed into the Coral Sea, killing all 11 aboard. All signs of the crashed aircraft had disappeared below the water within a minute.

The total crew determined to be lost-missing was as follows; 1LT Donald K Emerson-Pilot, 1LT Robert F Miller, Co-Pilot, SSGT Albert Belcher-Bombadier, SSGT Ernest R Fanta-Gunner, SSGT Everett E Walker-Radio Operator/Gunner, PVT. William S Vidmar-Engineer, SGT Donald D Ruth-Passenger, SGT Richard H Sauver-Passenger, PFC Delmar A Klemmer-Passenger, TSGT Paul T Ervin

LT Miller was declared missing and his name appears on the Tablets of the Missing in the Manila American Cemetery, Manila Philippines.

Gravesite Details Service Number# 0-442215



  • Maintained by: Rick Ervin
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56779838
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 1Lt Robert F Miller (1918–20 Dec 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56779838, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by Rick Ervin (contributor 48293905) .