Henry J. F. Miller

Henry Jervis Friese Miller (10 September 1890 – 7 January 1949) served as a general in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.

Henry Jervis Friese Miller
Henry J. F. Miller.jpg
Major General Henry J. F. Miller in 1944 before his demotion
Born(1890-09-10)September 10, 1890
Alloway Township, New Jersey
DiedJanuary 7, 1949(1949-01-07) (aged 58)
San Antonio, Texas
Allegiance United States of America
RankBrigadier General

While serving in the European theater, Miller made publicly recorded comments about the top secret date of the Allied invasion of Normandy in May 1944. After Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower found out, Miller was demoted to lieutenant colonel and sent back to the United States.

Early lifeEdit

Miller was born on 10 September 1890, in Alloway Township, New Jersey, to John and Mary Miller. After attending local public schools, he was accepted to the United States Military Academy and graduated with the class of 1915.[1]

Military careerEdit

After graduation, Miller was assigned as a second lieutenant in the United States Cavalry and served near El Paso, Texas, during the Pancho Villa Expedition of 1916. He was promoted to captain in 1917 and then major in 1918.[1]

In 1917, Miller transferred to the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps and completed primary flight training at Rockwell Field. He served with the American Expeditionary Forces in England from September to December 1918 during the last months of World War I.

In 1919, Miller returned to the United States. Between October 8–31, he participated in the Army Transcontinental Air Race, organized by the United States Army Air Service. Seven airman were killed, two en route to the race.[citation needed]

In the interwar period, Miller served many assignments in the United States Army Air Service and then the United States Army Air Corps. When he became commanding officer of Duncan Field Air Depot, he was promoted to brigadier general in the Army Air Corps on 10 July 1941. Training and logistics units had kept the older name while all other units had been redesignated as the United States Army Air Forces on 20 June 1941.

He was promoted to major general on 27 February 1942 when he became the chief of the 9th Air Force Air Service Command, based out of Wright Field near Dayton, Ohio.[1][2]

D-Day incidentEdit

In 1944, while attending a dinner party at Claridge's in London, Miller leaked the date of the upcoming Operation Overlord during a conversation with a fellow officer, saying that "the invasion will come before June 15."[3] An Associated Press account gives his comment as "On my honor the invasion will take place before June 15."[4] When news of this security breach reached Supreme Allied Commander General Eisenhower in May 1944, Miller was demoted to his permanent rank of lieutenant colonel and sent home.


On November 30, 1944, Miller retired from service due to physical disability, and in December 1948 was promoted to brigadier general on the retired list.[1][2] The United Press reported on December 3, 1944 that he had taken an advisory job with a war plant.[5]


Miller moved to San Antonio, Texas, in the spring of 1948 and lived there until his death on 7 January 1949.[1] He was buried in the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, alongside his wife Vera Abigail, who had died on 11 January 1943.[6]


See alsoEdit

  • Ike: Countdown to D-Day, a 2004 made-for-TV movie which dramatized Miller's intelligence breach
  • D-Day the Sixth of June, a 1956 movie in which the fictional Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Timmer is sent back to the US for a similar breach of security to Miller's


  1. ^ a b c d e "Memorial".
  2. ^ a b Haskew, Michael E. (2014). West Point 1915: Eisenhower, Bradley, and the Class the Stars Fell On. Minneapolis, Quarto Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-7603-4652-5
  3. ^ "Army & Navy: Silence is Golden". 19 June 1944 – via content.time.com.
  4. ^ Associated Press, "General Broken And Sent Home", The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, June 1944, Volume 50, page 1.
  5. ^ "Officer Who Talked Too Much Retired From Army". The San Bernardino Sun. San Bernardino, CA. United Press. December 4, 1944. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Vera Abigail Clark Miller (1895-1943) - Find a..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 2022-02-20.

External linksEdit