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Tag Archives: World War I

Thanks For Your Service

Even though you wouldn’t describe us as a “military family” there are a lot of servicemen in my family tree. Beginning with dozens of Patriot ancestors who fought for our independence I’ve found relatives who stepped up to the challenge in almost every conflict our country has endured. My genealogy research is not organized enough to list them all, but here are a few I want to call out.

My great Uncle Wes, my grandpa’s brother, answered the call to fight the Nazis in World War II.  Seventy years ago this month he was fighting across Germany with Patton’s 3rd Army, 314th Infantry, 79th Division.

Sometime in November, 1944 he was MIA, lost behind enemy lines for about eleven days. He returned to his unit on Nov. 27 and three days later, Nov. 30, 1944, he was killed. Just weeks later his unit played a part in repelling the Germans in the decisive Battle of the Bulge.

Grandma Louisa Belew and grandsons Ed, left, and John Wesley Rose

Here’s Uncle Wes on the right with his brother Ed (my grandpa) and their grandmother Louisa Belew just before he shipped out.

My dad’s dad, James W. Miller served during The Great War (WWI).

Sgt. James W. Miller, 1918

More recently my dad, Sgt. James W. Miller, served in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict. He was an airplane mechanic and taught mechanics at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas.

My brother David Kent Miller (DK) went to the US Naval Academy and was a pilot on the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier. His son, Josh chose the Air Force for his service and is about to complete a stint in Korea.

Thanks to everyone who serves and special thanks from me to the servicemen in my family.

 

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2014 in Miller, Rose

 

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My Grandpa Was a Doughboy

We never knew our Grandpa Miller. He died in 1935 when Dad was just five years old.

We don’t have a lot of pictures either, but there are a few from 1918. He was in the army stationed at Camp Greene in North Carolina.

JMiller1918

This James White Miller—my grandpa—was born in Kissimmee, Florida, June 30, 1895. He was 21 when he enlisted and very shortly turned 22.

The United States entered World War I in April 1917, and my grandpa enlisted in June. I think he served all his time as part of the Quartermaster Corps at Camp Greene in Charlotte, North Carolina. He may have been assigned to the base hospital there since that’s what’s stamped on the back of one of the photos we have.

While my dad isn’t the spittin’ image of him, I see a lot of similarities. I don’t know how tall he was, but his lanky hands remind me of dad. My dad was 6′ 3″. Wish I could tell how tall his dad was.

JMiller1918-2

This photo also reminds me of dad. A good lookin’ guy just hangin’ out. Leanin’ against a tree.

While he didn’t have to fight in the trenches in Europe, as far as I can tell, he was at the camp when soldiers returning from the battlefield brought the Spanish Flu home with them in the fall of 1918. The pandemic killed over twenty million people worldwide and over half-a-million died in the United States.

September 28, 1918 the first case was reported in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and the disease spread like wildfire. Entire families were wiped out. On October 4, the city of Charlotte was quarantined for two weeks. Schools, churches and public meetings were all canceled. There were 230 cases reported by 3 pm on a single day. Volunteers who survived the flu were asked to help and extra beds were set up in hospitals.

Camp Greene was also quarantined for two weeks and while the war was already winding down, the pandemic hastened the closing of the camp. Many soldiers died of flu in camp, and many others were shipped overseas to get them out of harm’s way. Ironically they were shipped off to war to avoid dying of the flu.

I’ll keep looking and see if I can turn up some more details about his military service. I have a few more pictures and I’ll save them for the update.

 

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Miller

 

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