Archie Miller MOH

b. 23/09/1878 Fort Sheridan, Illinois. d. 28/05/1921 Morgantown, Maryland.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 02/07/1909 Patian Island, Philippines.

Archie Miller MOH

Born in Illinois on September 23, 1878, Col. Miller attended the public schools of Chicago. He was an A.B. man of St. Mary’s College, Kansas, and St. Louis University. At the outbreak of the Spanish–American War, he enlisted with the state volunteers and saw service in Cuba, reaching the rank of first lieutenant. In 1899, he went to the Philippines for a year, transferring later to the Regular Army Cavalry.

Miller married Madeleine Whitside, daughter of Brigadier General Samuel Whitside. Their daughter, Caroline, would marry Lieutenant General Robert Whitney Burns.

During World War I, Miller was the commanding officer at Kelly and Rich Fields, Texas, and Camp Greene, North Carolina. In July 1918, Lieutenant Colonel Miller was placed in charge of all United States Army Air Service activities on Long Island, New York. As a member of the Air Service, Miller participated in the New York-to-Toronto-and-return air race and the transcontinental race. In 1919, Col. Miller testified before Congress to the Subcommittee on Aviation of the Committee on Military Affairs, which was considering a bill to create a “united” Air Service separate from either the Army or the Navy. In his testimony, Miller stated, “I was perhaps one of the original advocates of a united Air Service, immediately after the Armistice.”

On May 28, 1921, Lt. Col. Archie Miller, four Air Service officers and an enlisted man, and two civilians were killed in the wreck of an Army Curtiss Eagle passenger airplane near Morgantown, Maryland, 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Washington, in a terrific wind and electrical storm. In addition to Miller, the dead were: Maurice Connolly of Dubuque, Iowa, formerly a member of the House of Representatives; A. G. Batchelder of Washington, chairman of the Board of the American Automobile Association; Lieutenant Stanley M. Ames of Washington, pilot of the wrecked plane; Lieutenant Cleveland M. McDermott, Langley Field, Virginia; Lieutenant John M. Pennewill, Langley Field, Virginia; and Sergeant Mechanic Richard Blumenkranz, Washington.

Army Air Service officers said the accident was the worst in the history of aviation in the United States and that it was one of the few in which all of the passengers in a falling plane had been killed almost instantly.



While in action against hostile Moros, when the machine-gun detachment, having been driven from its position by a heavy fire, one member being killed, did, with the assistance of an enlisted man, place the machine gun in advance of its former position at a distance of about 20 yards from the enemy, in accomplishing which he was obliged to splice a piece of timber to one leg of the gun tripod, all the while being under a heavy fire, and the gun tripod being several times struck by bullets.