4:56 | John Miller recounts a few memorable events that happened in his early life that shaped his future decision to join the military. Growing up on a farm, independence comes to you in many different ways and for Miller, these helped him grow into a man.
Keywords : Early life farmer family family farm principled father brother Army Air Corps
John Miller remembers hearing the announcement of Pearl Harbor and the ramifications it had on his life. Knowing his brother was in the service and thinking about the danger the attack might put him in was a wake-up call for Miller.
Choosing between the life of a small town doctor and an engineer was a decision John Miller had to make and he was certain he'd made the right choice. Life during the Depression was difficult for a small town farmer, but Miller navigated his way through it.
After John Miller's enlistment in the military, he had a number of experiences learning about the airplanes that he would later fly. Having this hands-on encounter with airplanes was a key turning point for him.
John Miller talks of his trip crossing the Atlantic to face combat. The trip across the ocean was arduous but they managed to navigate their way.
A wealthy landowner let John Miller and his battalion stay on his estate while stationed in England. On this compound, they had a number of memorable escapades that helped them pass the time.
John Miller remembers the camaraderie he felt with his battalion and the other men that he was serving alongside. A particularly close relationship with a high-ranking member of the British military allowed them to get a personal tour of some of the most famous English landmarks.
John Miller recounts various outposts he had around the European continent. Miller remembers one particularly harrowing experience where he was left alone in the fog with an enemy tank that was shrouded by the forest.
John Miller describes the duties his battalion had of building out bridges across Europe. While traveling, they came across a neutral city where they were able to relax and refuel for a short period of time.
John Miller remembers some of humorous encounters that happened after his battalion met up with a Russian battalion to celebrate a truce.
Getting the chance to sleep in a heated room during the peak of World War 2 was an unexpected luxury for John Miller and a few friends from his battalion.
It was their third mission over Berlin and they were heading home. Four German fighters pounced on the B-24 and it was engulfed in flame and going down. Clyde Burnette fought for consciousness as the other crew in the back of the plane bailed out. He woke in free fall with no idea how he had made it out, and soon he was in German custody. Everyone made it out of the plane except George "Danny" Daneau, the nose turret gunner, who went down with the aircraft.
The first operation for the 4th Division was the landing on Roi-Namur. Lawrence Snowden remembers that, though it was an easy victory, valuable combat experience and important lessons were imparted on the Marines.
Being on the 20mm gun crew of a minesweeper, Mr. Weston had to think quickly after a nearby battleship was hit by a Japanese bomb during an inconvenient time for Mr. Weston. He received a Purple Heart for his injury, but not before heading off to fight at Saipan and Tinian.
Two engines were out, a third smoking, and they were were losing airspeed and altitude, but they were flying level and pointed home. Then time ran out for the B-17 and Don Scott had to slip down the hatch into the slipstream. Part 2 of 3.
After a nerve-wracking mission to bomb Tokyo and a typhoon, B.E. Vaughan and the destroyer O'Brien suffered a second kamikaze attack which killed all three of his hometown pals who served with him on board. Then, began the grim task of collecting the personal belongings of the dead and preparing them for burial at sea.
After being captured, John Rodgers met an old friend at the camp where he was being held. While being brought back to Rome by his captors, Rodgers was able to buy some sustenance for himself and his friends that kept them going as they were transferred to Poland. (Part 1)
Willis Brown was drafted out of college into the Army and headed south to Turner Field in Georgia. He didn't like the way he was treated there and asked for a transfer, but was denied. He reveals how he beat the system and got out of there.
His unit went ashore at Oran, Algeria and Willis Brown says it was beautiful and exotic. He was good with languages and he tells how he made friends among the locals. He did the same thing when they moved on to Italy.
When Willis Brown returned home after his deployment to Africa and Italy, he made full use of his GI benefits. After getting two history degrees, he picked up a degree in education, which served him well in a long teaching career.
January 21st, 1945, John Rodgers and his fellow officers began on the longest forced march of World War II. From Szubin, Poland, they were forced to march over 300 miles in 47 days. It took some time, but General Patton’s forces were able to liberate the prisoners as the war in Europe came to an end.
William Weston remembers minesweeping and how they would assist American ships navigate through minefields. There were many instances where ships would be hit by a mine and get sunk. He was also in charge of manning the large machine guns during a deployment in the Philippines.