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2nd Lt. Morrison R. Miller, O-867161

Discussion in 'All Hands Club & Canteen Discussion Area' started by Robersabel, Oct 11, 2017 at 11:49 AM.

  1. Robersabel

    Robersabel New Member

    2nd Lt. Morrison R. Miller, O-867161 was KIA on 4 July 1944. Attempting to identify unit assigned.
  2. Parker

    Parker Member

    Not the answer but might narrow down the search a little.

    MILLER 1.jpg MILLER 2.jpg
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  3. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017 at 4:56 PM
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  4. Robersabel

    Robersabel New Member

    Appreciate the information.
  5. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017 at 5:06 PM
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  6. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Was granted maintenance of this findagrave memorial page for 2nd Lt Morrison R Miller https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56762221

    Added bio from sources as noted and changed date of death to 2 July 1944, same date/evening as the sinking of the SS Jean Nicolet:
    When Morrison R Miller was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana during 1922, his father, Herbert Richard, was 32 and his mother, Alaska Helen “McGee” Miller, was 33. He had one sister Lois Barbara born 14 April 1917. Morrison graduated from North Side HS, Ft Wayne, Indiana in 1940. He then attended classes “possibly” at Purdue University for two years. On 22 July 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps entering service at Chicago Illinois, with his college experience he was assigned to a special aviation program at Yale University. Upon graduation of this further training Morrison R. Miller was commissioned a 2nd Lt ASN: O-867161, airplane armament officer. Lt Miller then received orders for deployment to the China/Burma/India theater of war.

    On 12 May 1944 Lt Miller boarded the liberty ship S.S. Jean Nicolet which departed that day from San Pedro, California. Also on board was a complement of 100 men consisting of 41 merchant crew, 28 Naval Armed Guard, and 31 passengers. The passenger list was made up of six U.S. Army officers, 12 U.S. Army enlisted men, eight Navy technicians, four civilians, and one U.S. Army medical corpsman The ship made a scheduled stop at Fremantle, Australia, for bunkers, stores, and to discharge some cargo. Departing from Fremantle on June 21, she was bound for Colombo, Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka), where she was to stop for orders prior to proceeding to Calcutta.

    At 1907 (7:07 PM) ship's time, on this date, she was located in position 3°28'S, 74° 30'E (the recorded coordinates of 3-28S, 74-30W are incorrect which would place the sinking in South America) or about 700 miles south of Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka). At this time, she was struck by two torpedoes fired from the Japanese submarine I-8. The first hit between #2 and #3 holds on the starboard side and the second at #4 hold on the same side. A few minutes later the Master ordered abandon ship as he feared the ship would capsize due to the heavy starboard list. All hands abandoned ship safely in lifeboats and rafts. Before abandoning his post, Augustus Tilden, the radio operator, sent out a radio message that the ship had been torpedoed in the above position. The message was acknowledged by Calcutta and Ceylon. This radio message was responsible for saving the lives of 23 men.

    Soon after the ship was abandoned, the Jap sub I-8 surfaced. As it was dark I-8 used a powerful searchlight to locate the boats and rafts. The survivors were threatened with machine guns and ordered to come alongside by a Japanese speaking perfect English. Some on one raft slipped over the side into the water to hide but were seen and ordered to get back on the raft. Then they were ordered to swim to the sub. Five others, who were on the side away from the sub, were not discovered. These five were the only ones who did not board the sub. This five consisted of four of the Naval Armed Guard and one Army enlisted man. They were among the 24 survivors.

    As each of the other survivors boarded I-8, they were immediately roughed up, searched, had life jackets removed and had all their valuables, shoes, and I.D. tags taken from them. Then they were bound with their arms behind their backs with rope or wire. They were forced to sit on deck with their heads bowed on their knees. Anyone who raised his head or made a noise of any kind was beaten with iron pipes and cut with bayonets. The deck ran red with blood and vomit.

    While all this was going on, I-8 cruised around looking for any boats or rafts they might have missed. The sub also commenced shelling JEAN NICOLET, which was still afloat. As I-8 cruised around, a wave came over the deck of the submarine washing three of the men overboard with their hands tied behind them. Two of them, Carl Rosenbaum (F/WT) and George Kenmore Hess (A.B.), survived but Lt. Morrison R. Miller, U.S. Army, was never seen again. Lt. Miller had suffered a broken arm abandoning ship and he had no chance of surviving.

    Perhaps a merciful death for Lt Miller as after he was washed overboard 77 members of the crew and passengers from the S.S. Jean Nicolet were tortured and executed by the crew of I-8 under the command of Tetsunosuke Ariizumi who it appears escaped justice during the postwar Jap war crimes trials.

    2nd Lt. Morrison R. Miller, O-867161 remains memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines

    The fate of the crew and passengers after the sinking of the S.S. Jean Nicolet is rather well documented by the Naval Armed Guard web page here:


    William Flury, Liberty ship SS Jean Nicolet survivor account


    Morrison R Miller NARA enlistment record, 22 July 1942 ASN: 16080133



    Also see, IJN Submarine I-8: Tabular Record of Movement


    2nd Lt Morrison R Miller
    Morrison Miller.jpg

    2nd Lt Morrison R Miller with his mother Helen 1942 or 43
    Helen and Morrison 1942 or 43.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 4:23 PM
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  7. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Scott, I tried to see if I could figure out where Miller was commissioned based his serial number.

    John H Naranjo had serial number O-867167 compared to Miller's O-867161. I found a newspaper article that said that Naranjo was commissioned as an armaments officer after graduating from training at Yale University (probably about Dec 43). There is a little on this link about such training a Yale.


    I don't see any sort of wings in Miller's photo so I suspect he also may have been some type of technical officer.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 2:32 PM
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  8. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    I concur Rolland. Have edited his bio to read [with his college experience he was assigned to a special aviation program at Yale University. Upon graduation of this further training Morrison R. Miller was commissioned a 2nd Lt ASN: O-867161, airplane armament officer. Perhaps one day we will learn with certainty his MOS and final intended destination within the CBI.

    Likely not on this AAF forum as the sands of time run out of this forums hourglass...

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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 4:46 PM

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