1LT Miller was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Holrick J and O'Grita M. Larsen Miller. His siblings included a younger brother named Donald and a younger sister named Elsie. He was a 1939 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Classical High School and attended Brown University from 1939-1941 before enlisting.
He enlisted in the US Army Air Corp as an Aviation Cadet on 3 Nov 1941 in Providence, Rhode Island. After his initial basic training and advanced pilot training, he was later assigned to the 8th Bomber Squadron, 3rd Bomber Group-Light, 5th USAAF operating in the Pacific Theatre. He was the pilot on board a B-25 Mitchel that crashed on 24 Oct 1943.
According to 3rd BG casualty report, on Oct. 24, 1943, a B-25D-1 Mitchell bomber crewed by these airmen departed Oro Bay Airfield in New Guinea on a bombing run of enemy targets in Rabaul. As the aircraft neared its target, it was attacked by Japanese fighter aircraft. Crewmen from other aircraft said they saw the B-25 crash near a plantation at Kabanga Point. There were no survivors. The crew members killed in the crash were 1LT Robert H. Miller, of Providence, Rhode Island; 2LT Robert L. Hale, of Newtonville, Massachusetts; SSG Joseph A. Berube, of Fall River, Massachusetts; SSG Glendon E. Harris, of North Monmouth, Maine.
1LT Miller was listed as missing in action-presumably killed in action on 24 Oct 1943. His name appears on the Tablets of the Missing located at the Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines. He received the Silver Star Meda, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, and Air Medal posthumously.
His remains were recovered in 1946 and 1947 by Australian War Graves search teams, whom recovered some of the crew's remains from the crash site. Identifications were not possible at the time and the remains were ultimately buried at the Manila American Military Cemetery in the Philippines.
From 1999-2000, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) led a joint U.S. and Papua New Guinea (P.N.G.) investigation and excavation of a WWII-era crash site in East New Britain Province. One joint team interviewed individuals having information on the crash, including an eyewitness who said he saw the B-25 crash near his village. Another individual found and buried human remains at the crash site in the mid 1990s. The team surveyed the site and found aircraft wreckage, human remains and personal effects. A second joint team excavated the site and recovered additional human remains and crew-related artifacts from the wreckage field.
In 2004, an anthropologist from JPAC's Central Identification Laboratory (CIL) exhumed the graves at the Manila American Military Cemetery where he recovered the remains buried there in the 1940s.
Among dental records, other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains.
1LT Miller's remains were ultimately returned to his family and buried in the VA Cemetery in Exeter, Rhode Island. BIO: Rick Ervin