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Franklin Douglas "Doug" Miller (January 27, 1945–June 30, 2000) was an American and United States Army Special Forces staff sergeant during the Vietnam War who was awarded the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions above and beyond the call of duty on January 5, 1970.[1] He was also awarded a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and six Purple Hearts during his six years service in Southeast Asia.

Franklin D. Miller
Armymoh.jpg
Army Medal of Honor
Born(1945-01-27)January 27, 1945
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
DiedJune 30, 2000(2000-06-30) (aged 55)
Place of cremation
his ashes were scattered in New Mexico
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1965 - 1992
RankCommand Sergeant Major
Unit5th Special Forces Group
Battles/warsVietnam War
AwardsMedal of Honor
Silver Star
Bronze Star (2)
Purple Heart (6)

A native of Elizabeth City, N.C., Miller eventually retired from the U.S. Army as a command sergeant major in 1992 before becoming a benefits counselor for the Veterans Administration.[2]

Contents

BiographyEdit

Miller joined the U.S. Army from Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 17, 1965. After basic training and advanced infantry training, he took the U.S. Army Special Forces course at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. In March 1966, he deployed with the 1st Cavalry Division to An Khe which is located in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam.[3] He undertook two years of airborne infantry reconnaissance work in Vietnam before he was first assigned to an Army Special Forces unit, the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam.[4] Miller also became a member of the elite and highly-secretive Military Assistance Command, Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group (MAC-V SOG).[N 1]

On January 5, 1970, Staff Sergeant Miller, who was administratively a member of the 5th Special Forces Group, was leading a joint American-South Vietnam Montangard tribesmen (nicknamed "Yards") long-range reconnaissance patrol operating deep within enemy-controlled territory in and from Kontum Province, Vietnam when his seven-man team was attacked by a platoon size North Vietnamese reconnaissance force in Laos[5] after one of his Montangard team members tripped an enemy booby trap wounding five team members. Miller was wounded in the chest, and single-handedly held off an enemy assault, and arranged for a helicopter extraction of his surviving comrades, and again fought off the enemy alone until relief arrived; four team members were killed and all were wounded.[5]

For his actions during the battle, in which he was seriously wounded, he was presented the Medal of Honor by President Richard M. Nixon at a White House ceremony on June 15, 1971. Miller retold the story of that day in Vietnam, along with other experiences from his career in the Army Special Forces, in his memoir, Reflections of a Warrior: Six Years as a Green Beret in Vietnam. After receiving the medal, Miller asked to be returned to his unit in Vietnam. During his years (1966-1967, 1968-1972) in Vietnam, he had taken part in many secret operations and raids which included going across the borders of Cambodia and Laos. He left the Republic Vietnam in November 1972.

Miller retired from the U.S. Army on December 1, 1992 as a command sergeant major, and joined the Veterans Administration where he worked as a benefits counselor. He died in 2000 at age 55 from cancer and was cremated, with his ashes scattered in New Mexico.[1] Miller was survived by a son, Joshua; a daughter, Danielle; and a brother, Walter, of Palmer, Alaska, who is also a retired command sergeant major of the Army Special Forces.[2] The Franklin D. Miller Trust was established to provide material support for his two children.

Range 37, part of Fort Bragg in North Carolina, was rededicated in Miller's honor in 2002.

Medal of Honor citationEdit

Miller's Medal of Honor citation reads:

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces
Place and date: Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam
Entered service at: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Born: 27 January 1945

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Miller, 5th Special Forces Group, distinguished himself while serving as team leader of an American-Vietnamese long-range reconnaissance patrol operating deep within enemy controlled territory. Leaving the helicopter insertion point, the patrol moved forward on its mission. Suddenly, 1 of the team members tripped a hostile booby trap which wounded 4 soldiers. S/Sgt. Miller, knowing that the explosion would alert the enemy, quickly administered first aid to the wounded and directed the team into positions across a small stream bed at the base of a steep hill. Within a few minutes, S/Sgt. Miller saw the lead element of what he estimated to be a platoon-size enemy force moving toward his location. Concerned for the safety of his men, he directed the small team to move up the hill to a more secure position. He remained alone, separated from the patrol, to meet the attack. S/Sgt. Miller single-handedly repulsed 2 determined attacks by the numerically superior enemy force and caused them to withdraw in disorder. He rejoined his team, established contact with a forward air controller and arranged the evacuation of his patrol. However, the only suitable extraction location in the heavy jungle was a bomb crater some 150 meters from the team location. S/Sgt. Miller reconnoitered the route to the crater and led his men through the enemy controlled jungle to the extraction site. As the evacuation helicopter hovered over the crater to pick up the patrol, the enemy launched a savage automatic weapon and rocket-propelled grenade attack against the beleaguered team, driving off the rescue helicopter. S/Sgt. Miller led the team in a valiant defense which drove back the enemy in its attempt to overrun the small patrol. Although seriously wounded and with every man in his patrol a casualty, S/Sgt. Miller moved forward to again single-handedly meet the hostile attackers. From his forward exposed position, S/Sgt. Miller gallantly repelled 2 attacks by the enemy before a friendly relief force reached the patrol location. S/Sgt. Miller's gallantry, intrepidity in action, and selfless devotion to the welfare of his comrades are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army."[6]

Richard M. Nixon

Military awardsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes
  1. ^ MAC-V SOG was a joint unconventional warfare task force created by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a subsidiary command of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV). The unit would eventually consist primarily of personnel from the United States Army Special Forces. Others assigned to MACV-SOG came from the United States Navy SEALs, the United States Air Force, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Special Activities Division, and elements of the United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance units. The Studies and Observations Group was in fact controlled and missioned by the Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities (SACSA) and his staff at the Pentagon. After 1967 "administrative" support was provided by HQ 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Vietnam; SOG was never assigned to or missioned by HQ 5th SFG(Abn).
Citations
  1. ^ a b "Franklin D. Miller". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  2. ^ a b Goldstein, Richard (17 July 2000). "Franklin D. Miller, 55, Hero As a Green Beret in Vietnam". New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  3. ^ Miller p. 4
  4. ^ Miller p. 67
  5. ^ a b https://www.nytimes.com/2000/07/17/us/franklin-d-miller-55-hero-as-a-green-beret-in-vietnam.html
  6. ^ "Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipients (M-Z)". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. October 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-09.
Bibliography
  • Miller, Franklin D. (1991). Reflections of a Warrior: Six Years as a Green Beret in Vietnam. Novato, CA: Presidio Press. ISBN 978-0-7434-6499-4.

External linksEdit

  • "Franklin D. Miller". SFAHQ compilation on Miller, including photos. Franklin D. Miller Trust. Retrieved 2007-10-29.