Capt. Everett 'Bud' Miller - Pilot / Ace
94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group
A Distinguished Veteran
Captain Everett 'Bud' Miller was born on November 15, 1920, in Nashua, Iowa, and his family later moved to Chino, California. In 1941, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, but was discharged from the R.C.A.F. shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In September, 1942, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Force, and completed his pre-flight training at Santa Ana, California. Upon completion of pre-flight training, he was transferred to Visalia, California, located in the San Joaquin Valley, for primary flight training. His next assignment was to Palmdale, California, where he completed basic flight training. Finally, he completed his advanced flight training at Williams Field, Arizona, and on December 5, 1943, he received his commission and pilot's wings as part of class 43K.
|Bud Miller at 'Old Bold Pilots'|
Captain Miller began his flight training in the Lockheed P-38 Lightning at Santa Monica, California, and was later assigned to the famous Eddie Richenbacker's 94th Fighter Squadron, known as the 'Hat in the Ring', which was part of the 1st Fighter Group, Mediterranean Theatre of Operation. He flew a P-38 Lightning called 'Martha J', which he named after his girlfriend. On April 16, 1944, he flew his first fighter mission, which was escorting bombers to Brazov, Romania, and on July 26, 1944, he flew his 53rd and last combat mission, which was escorting bombers to Weiner-Neudorf, Austria. He flew 273 combat hours, which included seven missions to the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. He had five air-to-air victories and two damaged. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Presidential Unit Citation with three Oak Leaf Clusters. He was one of nine test pilots to fly the Bell XP-59A Airacomet, which was America's first jet aircraft. He was released from active service in October 1945, and was self-employed in the retail shoe business until he retired in 1977.
On May 10, 1944, Everett Miller was part of the 94th Fighter Squadron providing fighter escort for B-24 Liberators returning from a bombing mission to Weiner-Neustadt, Austria. Near Graz, Yugoslavia, enemy aircraft attacked the B-24 bombers, and during the ensuing dogfight, he claimed his first victory, a FW-190. On June 10, 1944, the 1st Fighter Group escorted 48 P-38s from the 82nd Fighter Group on a dive-bombing mission to the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. The 82nd Fighter Group was to attack the refinery, while 36 P-38s from the 1st Fighter Group provided top cover. During the mission, the 1st Fighter Group claimed eighteen confirmed victories, but lost fourteen P-38s. During the mission, Everett Miller scored three more victories, giving him a total of four air-to-air victories. When asked what Captain Miller remembers the most about the June 10, 1944 mission to Ploesti, he responded, "trying to get away from all the enemy fighters!"
|Becoming an Ace|
On July 18, 1944, the 1st Fighter Group was assigned to escort B-24 Liberators from the 49th Bomb Group to bomb the Manzell Dornier factory at Friedrichshafen, Germany. The B-24s did not show at the rendezvous point, but a group of B-17s did. During the escort mission, approximately 90 German Luftwaffe enemy aircraft, consisting mainly of BF-109s and FW-190s, attacked the formation. During this mission, Everett Miller damaged an M.A. 205. In 1991, 47 years later, he learned that the damaged aircraft of July 18, 1944, was confirmed as a victory. In April, 1997, the American Fighter Aces Association notified Everett Miller that the organization was recognizing his five confirmed air-to-air victories as valid, and he became an official member and an American Fighter Ace.
|'Bud' Miller is one of our Rogue's Gallery members.|
|(Thanks are due 'Bud' for providing photos and stories)|
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