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Staff Sgt. Joseph J. Miller
9th Air Force, 391st Bomb Group, 574th Squadron

Joe “Bud” Miller was born December 27, 1924, in Mankato, Minnesota, one of 11 children born to Michael and Catherine Miller. Joe entered military service on June 11, 1943, during WWII where he became an armored tail gunner on a B-26 Marauder. He was assigned to his crew in July 1944 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana.

The crew flew their B-26 to Scotland in August 1944, flying the northern route from Savannah, Georgia, through Labrador, Iceland and Greenland. They eventually gathered in Matching Green, England, to join other members of the 9th Air Force.

On December 23, 1944, they were dispatched from their base in Roye/Amy, France, on a mission to bomb the Ahrweiler Bridge in Germany – their 15th mission. After circling their target, they encountered enemy planes and were shot down near Kelberg, Germany. Two crew members (Ed Potocnik and Joseph Kowalski) jumped to safety and became POWs, however, Joe and the three remaining crew members, 1st Lt. Dale C Detjens - MIA; 2nd Lt. Joseph M Blair, Luxemburg American Cemetery D-3-17; and 2nd Lt. Frederick T Kaye, Luxemburg American Cemetery G-9-9 crashed with their plane “Snake’s Revenge” (41-35010).

S/Sgt. Joseph J. Miller was buried on his 20th birthday, December 27, 1944, near the crash site in a cemetery at Mullenbach, Germany. In March 1946, his remains were moved to the American military cemetery in Luxemburg. In 1949, his remains were moved again to a cemetery in Temmels, Germany, where he lies buried with his grandparents and other relatives from his father’s homeland.

While Joe was not yet 20 years of age when he lost his life, along with the many other military men and women who have given their lives for our country, he will be remembered and loved by his family and friends.

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