His entire life, Jeff Miller has liked nothing better than sitting at the side of a World War II veteran listening to stories about the war and life after. It came naturally as the only child of a Navy veteran who served in the Pacific and nephew to an Army Air Corp B-24 bomber pilot who lost his life in 1944 during a bombing run in Czechoslovakia. A big part of Jeff’s intrigue with the war revolved around a trunk filled with military letters and documents regarding that uncle's service.
“My mother lost her oldest brother in the war and he had made that trunk for her," Jeff said. "I went to the trunk and opened it and found letters from my uncle, the flag from his casket, letters from the military commander and my uncle’s flight log." Jeff’s dad died in 2003 and it was after his mother’s death in 2006 that Jeff was able to view the contents of that trunk. He also found a telegram informing the family of his uncle’s death. His mother was only 17. But, perhaps the most amazing thing he found was his mother’s diary that she had written in every day while her brother was away at war. Now Jeff had his uncle’s flight book, where he had recorded not just a flight record but also his daily activities, and he could compare that to his mother’s notes made stateside. It was fascinating information.
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