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Fred Clyde Miller

West Virginia
Veterans Memorial


Fred Clyde Miller

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."

´┐ŻLaurence Binyon

Fred Clyde Miller was born on May 9, 1890, in Glenville, West Virginia, to McClellan and Belle Miller. The 1900 census taker recorded the family in the Glenville Independent District, then with five children living at home. Mr. Miller was a farmer. The farming family included Cecil, Fred, Carl, Bonnie, Beulah, and Earl. In 1910, the family was living in the Fairmont District of Marion County. Mr. and Mrs. Miller, Fred, Carl, Bonnie, Beulah, and Earl were all at home. Mr. Miller was a farmer; Mrs. Miller was the keeper of a boarding house; and Fred and Carl were working in a glass factory. With them were 12 non-family members, including a cook and 11 boarders. All but one worked in a glass factory.

Fred Miller entered the military at the Columbus Barracks in Ohio on April 22, 1917. He went to Europe and served in the American Expeditionary Services with Company B of the 4th Infantry until June 5, 1917. He then served with Company B of the 59th Infantry until August 10, 1917. He was promoted to private first class on January 25, 1918, and returned to private on July 9. He was cited for bravery during July fighting in the Marne. ("Fred C. Miller Is Missing in Action, Fairmont Boy was Cited for Bravery During July Fighting," The West Virginian, 28 December 1918.) He was promoted to corporal on August 19, 1918, and fought in the Argonne Defensive Sector until his death on October 4, 1918.

Fred Miller was first buried overseas, but his remains were returned to the United States in 1921, at the same time as another young Fairmont man, named Albert Gerken, who also died in October 1918. The services at Woodlawn Cemetery were conducted in succession. The impressive services featured choirs and members of the churches, unions, and social organizations to which they belonged. The Greater Fairmont band played. The Veterans of Foreign Wars asked all ex-servicemen to come in uniform. Soldiers attended and marched the route. ("Two Who Died in Action Were Buried Sunday," The West Virginian, 10 September 1921.)

Fred Miller was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. The Fairmont West Virginian ("Two World War Soldiers To Be Buried Sunday, Impressive Services To Be Held in Two Local Churches," 10 September 1921) published the contents of a letter to Mr. Miller, which described his son's acts of heroism.

Mr. M. C. Miller,
Fairmont, W. Va.

Dear Sir: - Under the provisions of the acts of Congress approved July 9, 1918, (Bul. NO. 43, W. D. 1918), a distinguished service cross was awarded posthumously by the War department to Corporal Fred C. Miller, Company H, 18th Infantry, First Division, with the following notation:

For extraordinary heroism in action near Exermont, France, Oct. 4 and 5, 1918. On Oct. 4th, Corporal Miller with a small group from his platoon, advanced through heavy fire and captured an enemy machine gun nest with its crew of six men. The following day he advanced in front of our lines through heavy fire and assisted several wounded comrades to safety. Corporal Miller was later killed during an engagement in the Argonne.

The Zone Supply Officer has this day been directed to forward the cross for you to the nearest Recruiting Officer in your district who will cause the same to be presented to you.

Very respectfully,
P. C. Harris
The Adjutant General

All three of Fred Miller's brothers also served during World War I. Earl Miller was discharged in 1919 and served at Camp Lee. Cecil Miller served in France, survived the war, but died in a coal shaft collapse in 1926. Karl (sometimes spelled Carl) died during the war at Rock Island, Illinois, Arsenal Depot. Karl and Fred are buried together at Woodlawn Cemetery in Fairmont, West Virginia.
Grave marker of Fred C. Miller in Woodlawn Cemetery, Fairmont, where he and his brother Karl are buried side by side. Courtesy Cynthia Mullens

Grave marker of Fred C. Miller in Woodlawn Cemetery, Fairmont, where he and his brother Karl are buried side by side. Courtesy Cynthia Mullens

Article prepared by Cynthia Mullens
July 2020


Fred Clyde Miller

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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