On Sunday, April 17, at 2 p.m., the Champaign County Historical Society Museum will host James E. Miller, who will be presenting a program on exploits in Vietnam that led him to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross citation and medal. Jim was a warrant officer and helicopter pilot. Miller distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 29 September 1967 while serving as aircraft commander of a resupply helicopter on a mission to bring supplies and ammunition to an outpost on top of Nuiy Jai mountain, near Soc Trang in the Republic of Viet Nam.
James Edward Miller was born on July 26, 1945 in Canton, Ohio to Esther Miller and Eli Miller. Jim has one older brother and one younger brother. After graduating from Poland Seminary High School in 1963, Jim attended Bowling Green State University for two years before entering the Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Aviation Course in the United States Army in December 1965. Army basic training was completed at Ft. Polk in Louisiana before heading off to Primary Helicopter Flight School at Ft. Wolters in Mineral Wells, Texas. After graduating from primary flight school Jim was transferred to Ft. Rucker in Alabama where he graduated from advanced flight training and received his coveted Aviator’s Badge and promotion to Warrant Officer (WO1). After graduation from flight school Jim was assigned to the 336th Assault Helicopter Company in Soc Trang, Vietnam, flying the UH-1D Huey. During his time in Vietnam (Feb.1967-Feb.1968), Jim was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Upon rotation back to the United States, Jim became an Instructor Pilot at Ft. Wolters and was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer (CW2). During his time instructing at Ft. Wolters, Jim was awarded a Flight Safety Award for 500 hours of accident and incident free flight instruction and also earned his Civilian Commercial Pilot’s License for an Airplane Single-Engine Land and Rotorcraft-Helicopter.
After his Honorable Discharge from the Army, Jim was hired by Brown-Bridge Mills in Troy, Ohio as the Customer Service Department Manager. Other positions with this company included Manager, Marketing Services and Product Manager, Heat and Water Sensitive Products (with Brown-Bridge Mills, Kimberly-Clark/Brown-Bridge, which K-C sold in Sept. 1964 to Spinnaker Industries). Jim’s proudest moment in business came when, under Jim’s direction, the self-adhesive postage stamp was introduced by the United States Postal Service. The self-adhesive postage stamp continues to be a great product still in use nationwide today. After spending 30 years in industry and not flying, Jim retired early (at age 55) and has returned to flying helicopters again.