Wednesday, May 27, 2015

PFC Avery Raymond Miller KIA January 29, 1945; BURMA

PFC Avery Raymond Miller
Avery Raymond MILLER'S
headstone at Arlington National
I recently met a local gentleman, Harv Miller, who told me a story of his Uncle Raymond Miller who was killed in Burma, January 29, 1945. 

Harv told me that Raymond, 19 years old, wrote a letter home saying he didn't think he was going to make it home. 

 Avery Raymond Miller (left) on his
farm in TN; 1940's

Raymond was Harv's youngest Uncle, so they were raised like siblings. Raymond's death affected him greatly, and he never heard the circumstances or saw photos or was able to find any information about his Uncle's death, other than being killed in action in Burma, and after several years, being interned at Arlington. I was able to retrieve several photos and the battle information of Raymond's death. All this I will pass on to Harv Miller. 

Raymond Miller was with Troop A, 124th Cavalry, 5332d Brigade, otherwise known as the legendary MARS TASK FORCE.
Mars Task Force CBI Patch

"The Mars Task Force was given the mission of clearing Northern Burma of Japanese forces and opening the Burma Road for truck traffic to China. In order to accomplish this mission, the force moved more than 200 miles by foot over the most hazardous terrain in Burma, over mountainous jungles, steep trails, swift streams and rivers on hot days and cold nights, in rain and mud, coupled with the ever fear of mite typhus. This was all done while being cut off completely from friendly forces and having to depend entirely upon air supply. The 124th established contact with the enemy on January 19, 1945, and fought continuously for 17 days. With the objective secure, an administrative bivouac was declared around February 15, 1945." -124th Cav. unit history

Avery Raymond Miller's Studio Army Portrait

PFC Avery Raymond Miller was KIA during this brutal and continual 17 days of fighting on January 29, 1945. He was 19 and a half. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetary.

b. June 22, 1925 d. January 29, 1945
RIP- Memorial Day 2015
My brother, Will, visited PFC Avery Raymond Miller's grave a few days after Memorial Day 2015, dressed his grave with flowers, and sent me this photo in A.R. Miller's memory.  

The POLETTE Brothers Killed in Action WWII- Memorial Day 2015

Many people know and have read about 1Lt Lloyd Polette's distinguished, albeit short career in the 508th PIR, 82nd Airborne. He earned the DSC for extraordinary heroism during the first two days of Operation Market Garden near Nijmegen, Holland. (The citation will be added to his photo.) He is so revered, that "today, the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, NC has an annual competition called the Lt. Lloyd L. Polette Cup which is held to determine the brigade’s best lieutenant."

1Lt LLOYD L. POLETTE Jr. died of wounds during the Battle of the Bugle on January 29, 1945.
b. February 8, 1916, d. January 22, 1945; he was 28.

Charles POLETTE, circa 1939
What most people do not know, is that 1Lt Polette had a younger brother, 6 years his junior, who enlisted in the Army in 1942.

2Lt CHARLES E. POLETTE also died of wounds while serving with the US Army on Okinawa, May 30, 1945. Unfortunately, there is no more information surrounding 2Lt Charles Polette's death, and I will update this status when I find more. I was able to find one of two archived photographs of Charles Polette; none are military portraits. The photo provided is his high school graduation yearbook photo.

b. October 4, 1922, d. May 30, 1945; he was 22.

The brothers Polette are buried at Saint Joseph Cemetery, Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA. RIP

- WWII Files Memorial Day 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

Advance on WANA RIDGE, May 18, 1945; #WWIIPOD

Two Marines, Davis P. Hargraves with Thompson submachine gun and Gabriel Chavarria with BAR, of 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, advance on Wana Ridge on May 18, 1945. Department of Defense Photo (USMC) 123170