Clarence C. Miller, Jr.
|HOME OF RECORD:
|NEXT OF KIN:
Father, Mr. Clarence Miller, Sr.
|DATE OF BIRTH:
January 22, 1942
|DATE OF DEATH:
September 27, 1942
|CAUSE OF DEATH:
|LAST KNOWN RANK:
Private First Class
|STATUS OF REMAINS:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
Birth and Early Life:
Clarence Miller was born in Ohio around the year 1924. He was raised in Warsaw, Indiana by his parents Clarence Senior and Dora. The family eked out a living on the father’s wages as a shoe-shiner in a local drug store; Clarence Junior may have joined the Marines as much for the pay as for the adventure.
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Miller enlisted in the Marine Corps on January 22, 1942. He trained at Parris Island, and after finishing boot camp was assigned to Company A, First Battalion, 7th Marines.
Private Miller underwent additional training with the 7th Marines at New River, North Carolina, and spent several months performing garrison duty in American Samoa. He finally saw action on September 18, 1942, when his regiment arrived on Guadalcanal – a Japanese fleet shelled their bivouac, causing some casualties and much confusion among the untried troops. They got a chance to strike back on September 24, but their patrol along the Matanikau ran into much heavier resistance than was expected, and was turned back with several casualties – Company A returned to the Marine lines on the orders of their battalion commander, Lt. Colonel Lewis “Chesty” Puller.
Date Of Loss:
Orders came through for Miller’s company on the morning of Sunday, September 27. After bolting a quick breakfast, they were hustled to the beach and loaded aboard Higgins boats for a short voyage around the tip of Point Cruz. As they splashed ashore, some realized that they were now behind Japanese lines. Their instructions were vague – advance inland, destroy any opposition, and re-group on a location marked as Hill 84 about five hundred yards from the beach.
The Japanese were waiting and hit the Marines with heavy mortar and machine gun fire, killing the battalion commander and wounding several other officers. The expedition quickly became a disaster, and it took the rest of the day for the Marines to fight their way out of the trap and back to the boats. They lost 23 men wounded and 24 killed and unaccounted for in the regiment’s bloodiest day of the war thus far.
One of those killed in the disastrous attack was Clarence Miller. His remains, if located, have not yet been identified.
For more on this action, see Little Dunkirk.
Next Of Kin:
Father, Mr Clarence C. Miller, Sr.
Status Of Remains: