FANWOOD, NJ -- Another cherished member of our community's Greatest Generation has passed. Edward Miller, a WWII vet who served as the grand marshal of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Memorial Day Parade in 2017, died peacefully at home on Sunday, Oct. 25, at age 96. His death comes a little more than a month after the community lost WWII Tuskegee Airman Malcolm Nettingham who died in September at age 101.
Originally a native of Kearny, NJ, Miller graduated from high school in 1943. By late 1944, he found himself on the island of Palawan in the Philippines to aid the American fight against Japan during World War II.
Miller was drafted into the Army Air Corps in 1943. Part of the sixth aircraft repair unit in San Antonio, following basic training and 17 weeks of machinist school, he worked alongside civilians in the biggest repair station of the army to ready equipment for the war. In a 2017 interview with TAPintoSPF, Miller discussed the frenzied sequence of events.
“Right out of school, the Army needed machinists. In high school, I had worked for a fellow who made model airplane engines, so I luckily had a little experience,” he explained.
Deployed to the Philippines in 1944, Miller was part of the 5th fighter squadron in support of the Chinese. He was assigned to the floating Air Depot of the Pacific to combat Japanese aggression in the South China Sea.
“We were there to support the invasion of Japan. That was our one and only focus and goal,” Miller said.
Upon his return home following victory, Miller moved to Fanwood and worked in manufacturing steel in nearby Garwood. He successfully earned his degree in math and science from Jersey City State College. According to his daughter, Denise Miller Sherwood, her father was life-long avid radio-controlled model airplane builder and flyer. He flew at the Westfield Armory every Tuesday for many years.
Editor's Note: Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized. TAPintoSPF will update this story with further information as it becomes available.
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