after War: REAL ESTATE AND 2ND MORTGAGES
Sidney S. (Red) Miller, was born 5-6-15 in New York. He died 2-22-99,
Roseville, CA. He enlisted in the CRAF in 1941. ³As an American and a
Jew, I have to fight Hitler², and as soon as America entered the war he
enlisted in the USAAF. Upon graduation as 2nd Lt. In 1942 from Albany,
GA, with a commission as Navigator, he married Barbara.
He had submarine duty over Florida before he and his crew flew the
Atlantic to Africa. His crew likes to tell the story that with his
navigating they landed at Dakar with 18 mins. of fuel left. They
continued to Thurleigh, England to become part of the 8th AF, 306th Bomb
Grp. and the infamous 367th Clay Pigeon Squadron. In his own words,
"going on raids was scary but thrilling for young, foolish and
brash American boys".
On April 5, 1943, while on a raid on Antwerp, he parachuted 32,000 ft.
from his burning B-17 in Holland. He landed in a dike and was injured.
He was captured by the occupying German troops. He spent 16 days in
solitary in Dulag Luft before being sent by boxcar to Stalag Luft 3
where he spent the next 2 plus years. Because he had claustrophobia he
did not go down to work on the tunnels but was a lookout above ground.
As the Camp Librarian, it was not suspicious to the "goons"
that he sit, reading a book on the ground above the entrance. When he
closed his book, it was the signal to stop digging.
Though the Germans knew he was Jewish, there was no overt action because
Col. Clark and others prevailed with the Germans to protect all the
These words from one of his closest friends sums up
what itıs like to be a POW.
"Sid will always be appreciated and loved because he was a true
friend during our time in Stalag Luft III. For me he was like a mentor
because he seemed so sophisticated and experienced. Of course we bitched
all the time about everything that POWs life was not, but we all had
deeper fears which often surfaced after bedtime when we found it easier
to talk in the dark. We were realistic enough to know that the war would
end and there would be a winner and a loser. Our greatest fear was
"What if the Allies lost, would we ever see our home or families
again?" But Sid never doubted an Allied Victory and always said so.
I recall his answer when now and again someone would challenge him with
"How do you know?" His stock answer, always in a firm voice
was "I donıt know. Thatıs why God gives us faith." BOB
During the infamous March to Moosberg in winter, 600 miles, he sustained
more injuries but that bond that sustained each Kriegie helped him
through that hell to Moosberg and eventual freedom as Patton came
through. He and others crossed the border to freedom on May 6 at Rheims,
just as the German generals were surrendering. He crossed the German
border on his birthday.
The one distinction he cherished was being a member of the Caterpillar
Club (for those whose life was saved with a silk parachute.) He did
receive the Purple Heart among many other medals.
During the years from 1945 to retirement in 1989 Sid was an entrepreneur
and in real estate in California. He was extremely active in giving back
to the community. He was the charter commander of a Jewish War Veterans
group, President of Toastmasters and President of Kiwanis, President of
various realtor boards and in many other groups. The family grew to 5,
two sons and a daughter, and now 7 grandchildren.
The bond that developed among the Kriegies is awesome, even after 56
years. The POW years took their toll physically, though he was active
and involved with all life, Veterans Affairs, all community activities,
family and religion.
Message to Future Generations:
Somewhere there is a ghost B17 with a navigator still flying high in the
sky. He lives his motto: Be ever vigilant, stand up and be counted, and
be ready to defend your ideals.²