Private First Class Cecil Cope Miller
– 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division –
Cecil Cope Miller was born on November 24th, 1922 in Hornersville, Dunklin, Missouri.
He was the son of Cecil and Effie Miller, and one of 11 siblings. On March 2nd, 1943, he was drafted, and he enlisted at Jefferson Barracks in Missouri. He then trained at Fort Jackson in South Carolina as part of the 106th Infantry Division, “The Golden Lions”. Before he shipped out to Europe, Cecil ended up in Camp Atterbury, still part of the 106th Infantry Division.
What happened then, is something his family and I are still trying to find out. We know Cecil wrote letters with his brother while in Camp Atterbury, Indiana early May 1944. Suspected is that he was transferred from the 106th Infantry Division to the 60th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division sometime between May and July 1944. Cecil then went to France, where he participated in the Battle of the Hedgerows. The 9th Infantry Division came ashore in Normandy on June 10th, 1944. They started to participate in the Normandy battles from June 14th 1944 on.
On July 14th, 1944, PFC Miller was killed near St. Lo. Believed is that Cecil was killed by “Friendly Fire” when English bombers dropped their bombs on the advancing Americans. Due to radio silence and clouds, it was too late for some of the men to find cover. Cecil was only 21 years old.
Cecil was then buried in Europe for 4 years, until 1948. Then his body was shipped back to the United States to be buried at Cude Cemetery in Senath, Dunklin County in Missouri. PFC Miller was awarded a Purple Heart.
Research to PFC Miller is still ongoing, and hopefully more information will be available sometime in the future.
PFC Miller’s actions will never be forgotten.