Paul S. Miller
U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) Fighter Pilot
Paul Sterling Miller was born December 25, 1919 to parents Joseph Stanford Miller (1888-1974) & Viva (Blankenship) Miller (1880-1975). He attended Northwest University. Before he enlisted, he resided in Pasadena California.
On February 12, 1941 enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) at March Field as an aviation cadet with serial number 19038756. During July 1941, he graduated from class 41-G and earned his wings. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with serial number O-427161. During late 1941, traveled by ship to the Philippines and was assigned to the 14th Bombardment Squadron (14th BS).
On December 8, 1941 at the start of the Pacific War in the Philippines he was a co-pilot flying missions aboard B-17 Flying Fortresses. By January 1942 he was with the squadron at Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao. In the middle of April 1942, after the "Royce Mission", Miller was evacuated aboard B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2486 piloted by Captain Edward Teats and evacuated to Batchelor Field near Darwin in Australia.
William Bartsch adds:
"He was 2nd Lt. Paul S. Miller (O-427161), a 41-G flying school graduate who arrived by boat in the PI probably October 1941 and was assigned the 14th BS. On January 29, 1942, he was on Mindanao and recorded on a roster as a co-pilot with the 14th BS. It seems he was evacuated to Oz during the Royce mission return on the B-17 flown by Ed Teats. Teats in his "Turn of the Tide" mentions that he flew a young Lieutenant out who had joined his 14th BS just before the Japanese attacked the PI on December 8, 1941, and that description fits Miller."
In Australia, assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 8th Fighter Group (8th FG), 35th Fighter Squadron (35th FS) "The Black Panthers". He was with the squadron at Woodstock Airfield and Townsville before flying to 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby and began flying the P-39 Airacobra on combat missions in New Guinea.
July 22, 1942 took off from Port Moresby on a on a strafing mission against Japanese forces landing at Buna on the north coast of New Guinea.
On May 28, 1942 at 7:50am fourteen Airacobras from the 35th Fighter Squadron (35th FS) and 36th Fighter Squadron (36th FS) took off from 7 Mile Drome to intercept twenty A6M Zeros over Port Moresby. Four aircraft were lost, but all pilots survived and later returned to duty: P-39D 41-6970 (survived), P-39F 41-7190 (survived), P-39F pilot Andres (survived) and this aircraft. During the air combat, the 36th FS pilots Connell, Egan, Erickson claimed 3 Zeros shot down. In fact, no Japanese planes were lost.
On June 1, 1942 photographed standing with a group of pilots from the 35th FS at 7 Mile Drome then scrambled as one of thirteen Airacobras on a mission to intercept day a Japanese formation of 18 bombers escorted by 9 A6M2 Zeros.
In total, he flew a total of 96 missions in the Pacific Theater. During December 1942, he returned to the United States. In January 1943 married Mary Palmer Barker
in Los Angeles. By 1944, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and assigned to the 8th Air Force (8th AF), 364th Fighter Group (364th FG) flying the P-38 Lightning.
On March 5, 1944 took off from Troston piloting P-38J Lighting 42-67745 on a mission bound for Angouleme, France. While flying between Angouleme and Poiters in France, Miller reported he was low on fuel and the group leader instructed him to fly south then bail out. When this aircraft failed to return it was listed as Missing In Action (MIA) near Bordeaux, France. He successfully evaded capture and reached Spain. On April 17, 1944 Miller returned to the United Kingdom.
Miller remained in the U. S. Air Force (USAF) and served in the Korean War and Vietnam War. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He retired to Puuloa in Kona on Hawaii Island.
Miller earned the Air Force Longevity Service Award, American Campaign Medal, American Defense Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Philippine Defense Ribbon.
On February 1, 1955 Miller passed away at age 75. He is buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at CT3-J, 600, 622.
Son Gary (Wanda) Miller New York
Son John (Allison) Miller of Washington
Son Lee Miller of Colorado
Daughter Mary Kennedy of Washington
Daughter Christina Miller of Washington
Daughter Ellen (Mark) Katzenberger of Louisiana
Daughter Linda (Ray) Garcia of California
Daughter Kimberly (Raymond) Rodrigues of Hilo Hawaii
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Paul S. Miller
The Hanford Morning Journal "Pacific Heroes Reunited at Coast Air Base" April 30, 1943
"Santa Ana, April 29 - One year ago [April 29, 1942], at a bomb-pocked airfield [Del Monte Airfield] on the beleaguered island of Mindanao, a battered [B-17] Flying Fortress idled for takeoff, ready to evacuate a small group of strategic military personnel to Australia.
But there was not space aboard for everybody. Aerial gunner SSgt Herbert M. Wheatley of Los Angeles stepped out to make room for Lieut. Paul S. Miller of Dos Palos, Calif., a pilot."
E&E Report No. 561 Evasion In France 22 April 1944
The Honolulu Advertiser Obituary Paul Sterling Miller February 5, 1995 page 27
FindAGrave - Paul Sterling Miller (grave photo)
Attack & Conquer (1995) mentions Miller
Thanks to William Bartsch and Edward Rogers for additional research and analysis
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