Second Lieutenant Wesley Albert Milliken

Wesley Milliken, 1941.
Wesley Milliken, 1941.

Photo uploaded to the White Family Tree by Katie White.

Insignia of VMSB-234.
Insignia of VMSB-234.

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Service Number: O-010317

Birth and Early Life:
Wesley Milliken was born in Oregon on December 8, 1919. He was raised in West Linn by his parents, Wesley and Bernice, and attended Linfield College, graduating in 1941.

Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Milliken joined the Navy on June 18, 1941. He trained at the Naval Reserve Aviation Base in Seattle, and qualified as a dive bomber pilot around the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Wartime Service:
Lieutenant Milliken left the Navy for the Marine Corps in 1942. He began his training with VMSB-142, then transferred to VMSB-234, stationed at Hawaii.

Date Of Loss:
At 0840 on September 15, 1942, Milliken and his gunner, PFC Arnold Carlson, were flying high above Barber’s Point on a training mission. Their turn came to take a practice attack dive on a target off the coast. Their plane, Dauntless SBD-1 1754, winged over correctly, but never pulled out of its dive. Milliken, Carlson, and the plane disappeared in a huge splash of water – although the location was recorded (two miles from Barber’s Point) and the area searched, no trace was ever found.

Next Of Kin:
Wife, Mrs. Wesley Milliken

Status Of Remains:
Lost at sea

Memorial:
Tablets of the Missing, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

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