Red, white and blue flags, the symbol of our country, were on display Saturday evening in the rodeo arena as Wheeler County saluted World War II Veteran Orville Miller.
Just prior to the start of Saturday night’s rodeo, the Wheeler County Ag Society honored Miller, as well as other veterans, active service men and women for their dedication and service to their country.
Miller rode into the rodeo arena, accompanied by his wife in the back of a vintage automobile, they waved to the crowd as they circled the arena.
Miller was drafted and entered the Army in October 1942. He left Bartlett with 12 other men on a bus to Fort Crook, Nebraska. He completed basic training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky where he was a member of the Army’s 493rd Headquarters Artillery Division as an S2. Later, he volunteered to be transferred to the Army Air Force to become the aerial engineer and gunner of the B-24 aircraft. He attended his service schooling in Keesler Field, Miss., and then went to Ypsilanti, Mich., for factory air force mechanic training. More training took place in Texas and California to get his 800 hours of formation flight training.
It was in California that he became a member of the 425th Army Air Force Base Unit.
Orville’s Air Force Unit had just completed training and were waiting for their overseas assignment when the atomic bomb was dropped in Japan. With the news of war coming to an end, assignments were changed. He spent the last months in the Army Air Force flying old B-24 planes from Boise, Idaho, to the airplane grave yard in Arizona.
He was discharged in 1946 and returned to Bartlett.
As part of his time in the military, he received the American Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and he also received the Good Conduct Medal.