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360th Miller Crew
Edgar C. Miller, Pilot
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(Miller assigned 360BS: 9 December 1943)
(Upgraded from CoPilot, Lt Earl N. Thomas Crew, to Pilot: 29 April 1944)

(Back L-R) 1Lt Edgar C. "Ed" Miller (P)(1), 2Lt John R. Francis (CP)*,
Sgt William J. Kuczewski (E), 2Lt Rufe H. Parrilla (B)(DOW)(2)*,
2Lt Nyle E. Cotner (N)*

(Front L-R) S/Sgt Arthur P. Tibbets (R), Sgt Hans Howald (RWG),
S/Sgt Jack E. Britt (BTG), Sgt Ernest P. Lobenherz (LWG)*,
Sgt Kenneth L. Elmore (TG)*

Crew Notes:
* Members of the 2Lt Max A. Christian Crew.

  1. 1Lt Edgar C. Miller (P) - Originally the CoPilot on the 360thBS Capt Earl N. Thomas Crew with whom Lt Miller flew 18 credited combat missions. Was upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on 05 May 1944 when Capt Thomas became a Lead Crew Pilot. Lt Miller then flew 14 credited missions as a 1st Pilot.
  2. 1Lt Rufe H. Parrilla (B)(DOW) - Mission #241, 12 September 1944 to Bruz, Czechoslovakia in B-17G #42-31340 Miss Liberty (360BS) PU-D, Lt Arnold P. Moselle Pilot. Lost two engines northeast of Berlin during fighter attacks. Another engine was lost when hit by flak over France. It made a one-engine crash landing at Ruxqueiler, France. Lt Parrilla was seriously injured during the crash landing and was left in a Canadian Hospital in the Pas de Calis area. He died of his wounds on 15 September 1944.
Mission Comments:
Mission #147 - 8 May 1944 to Berlin, Germany - Unable to keep up with the formation after losing the #2 engine. The #3 engine acted up and had to be feathered. Bombs were dropped to lighten the load. Had to fly near ground level to get out of the clouds and began receiving ground fire from pistols and rifles as they passed over the Netherlands. Were able to restart the #3 engine and had enough power to get back to Molesworth without being hit by enemy fighters.

Mission #155 - 19 May 1944 to Berlin, Germany - Was the largest number of bombers placed in the air since the start of Eighth AF daylight bombing. 588 B-17s were dispatched, 289 suffered battle damage and 16 were lost. P-51s and P-38s provided continuous escort.

Mission #156 - 20 May 1944 to Orly, France - The 303rd used a new formation - Two Squadrons with four flights of three B-17s each This would become the standard formation for the balance of the 8th AF Air War.

Mission #158 - 23 May 1944 to Saarbrucken, Germany - Hit twice by FW-190s and ME-109s. Miller crewman S/Sgt Roy D. Harvey was credited with a ME-109 probably destroyed.

Mission #159 - 24 May 1944 to Berlin, Germany - Was Lt Miller's thirteenth time that he was dispatched on a mission to Berlin. Thirty-three B-17s were lost by the 8th AF including one from the 303rd. Persistent and heavy contrails and a dense level of haze resulted in the problems in assembling the group, wing and division formations. Many 303rd B-17s attached themselves to other formations that they were able to find. All crewmen had to be on the alert to avoid collisions.

Mission #163 - 28 May 1944 to Rotha, Germany - A German 88 mm anti-aircraft shell hit Lt. Miller's B-17 #42-97329 Flak Hack (360BS) PU-H while the B-17 was in a sharp turn. The flak came in the bottom of the B-17 between the two pilot seats and just missed the solid metal base of the top turret. It came out behind the left seat occupied by Lt Miller and hit his GI shoes stored below his seat and left a large hole in the left side of the B-17. The flak impact hit the oxygen system that supplied the right side of the aircraft. Walk-around oxygen was required by crewmen served by the damaged system. The interphone system was inoperative. Two bombs were hung up in the bomb bay after other bombs were dropped. The crew flew at tree top level all across Germany and The Netherlands. The two bombs were dislodged over the English channel.

Mission #163 - 28 May 1944 to Rotha, Germany
LtCol Lewis E. Lyle with his head sticking out of the
flak damage hole in Miller's B-17 #42-97329 Flak Hack.

Edgar Miller Crews on missions flown as 1st Pilot:
Was upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on 05 May 1944. First mission as 1st Pilot on 30 April 1944

#145, 146, 147 & 151 (4/30, 5/7, 5/8 & 5/11/44)
Flew with members of the Lt Max A. Christian Crew. Lt Christian came down with tonsillitis while at Gander, Newfoundland and remained behind. Lt Edgar C. Miller flew as the crew Pilot until Lt Christian arrived at Molesworth and got back to full health.

#154, 155, 156 & 158 (5/15, 5/19, 5/23 & 5/24/44)
Flew with members of the Lt Anthony J. Cecchini Crew with substitute Navigators. Lt Cecchini was hospitalized following a crash landing in Southern England on 11 May 1944.

#159, 160 & 161 (5/24, 5/25 & 5/27/44)
Flew with members of his original Earl N. Thomas Crew. 1Lt William J. Roche (N) on mission #159.

#160, 161 & 163 (5/25, 5/28 & 5/31)
Two qualified 1st Pilots on Crew - 1Lt Edgar C. Miller & 1Lt Paul R. Ellsworth. Lt Ellsworth flew as CoPilot with Lt John C. Lawlor, Jr. (3 Missions), Lt Paul H. Long (4 missions), 1Lt Joseph E. Stevens (9 missions) and other Pilots (3 Missions). Was upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on 8 May 1944 and flew 12 missions as 1st Pilot from 19 May through 12 June 1944. Flew as CoPilot on missions #160 and #163 with Lt Edgar C. Miller.

#166 & 167 (5/31 & 6/2/44)
Flew as combat instructor Pilot with the new 2Lt Leonard M. Brown crew.

Edgar C. Miller Plaque
Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum

For additional information see: http://www.sirinet.net/~lgarris/emiller/military.html and 303rd BG(H) CD-ROM Stories: Missions #104, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121, 125, 126, 131, 134, 146, 147, 151, 154, 155, 156, 158, 159, 160, 161, 163, 166 and 167,

[photos courtesy of Edgar C. Miller]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]