When Art Miller rides down the street as the Grand Marshall of the Bronxville Memorial Day parade on Monday, he wants to think about a member of the B-17 airplane flight crew he was a part of during World War II.
I remember one day, my buddy, the navigator, got a letter from home and it said that his first child, a son, had been born, Miller recalls. He was so happy that he shared the candy he had gotten from home with all of us. It does not seem like much now, but it was such an important thing at the time, a memorable moment for me, he said.
Miller, 86, was part of the US Army Air Corp and a bombardier for the Eighth Air Force, 486th Wing stationed in England. He flew 30 combat missions over Germany aiming for factories, fuel depots and staging areas at railway stations during 1942 and 1943.
Miller said he was honored and a little surprised that he was asked to lead Bronxvilles 89th annual parade.
I dont really spend a lot of time speaking about it, he said regarding his years as a soldier. I have always felt very lucky that I survived and was able to come home and continue my life. Miller said
He was an 18 year old college student from Mount Vernon, studying at Duke University when he was drafted. .
During a trip to California, Miller met actress Bette Davis at a USO event held at the Stage Door Canteen in Hollywood. She said hello, and was very sweet to us, he said.
After completing his 30 missions, he returned home and was part of the throng in Times Square ocelebrating Germany's surrender. He was awarded the Air Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, two Bronze Stars and the Distinguished Flying Cross among other honors.
The awards were nice, but the real reward was coming home, he said.
Miller went on to complete his college education on the GI Bill. Miller and his late wife, Nancy Van Wyck Miller raised two daughters and a son in Bronxville. As a business owner in town he was a board member of the Chamber of Commerce, was on the community board and a member of the Siwanoy Country Club. He is still a member of the Rotary club and served as Its president.
A Bronxville resident for 50 years, his real estate firm later merged with Houlihan Lawrence and he still goes to his office every day.
The Parade begins at 9 am on Monday, May 30.
Do you know any local veterans? We would like to honor their service too.
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