WWII Veterans of the 412th Fighter Squadron, 373rd Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, USAAF

Wolf insignia courtesy of Bruce Lowell and Bob Colangelo

William M. Miller - A remembrance by Dennis E. Hayman


 
    Sixty years ago, in 1944, my uncle, Bill Miller said goodbye to me for the last time as he went off into harm's way in Europe. As he hugged me he told me that when he came home he would fulfill my dream - he would teach me to fly like him. In return I whispered in his ear that I would keep him safe.

Though he was killed in action on Christmas Day, 1944, he is still safe within my heart. There he still lives on. His memory has colored every major milestone in my life.

 

 
 
  He has taught me to fly in ways I never dreamed of before.

Today, thinking as I do about the joyful interaction that he and the other officers of the 412th had with the children at the Dongelberg orphanage, I know that as he played with those kids, he also thought of me - just as I was thinking of him. At those times, away from the combat flying, love was foremost in his heart.

My generation was blessed by people like Bill and all of the enlisted men and officers of the 412th and the other millions who gave freely of themselves to keep the world free. Their hope was lasting peace in the end and they were willing to give their all to achieve it. We have not made it happen yet - but I, for one, will keep trying. I do it for you, Bill.

 

 
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last update: 11 Sept 04

 
 

9th AF patch image courtesy of Bruce Lowell and Bob Colangelo.