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345 Bomb Group 499 Bomb Squadron B-25 Radio Gunner wounded on Liberty ship in Leyte Gulf

345 Bomb Group 499 Bomb Squadron B-25 Radio Gunner wounded on Liberty ship in Leyte Gulf

Posted: 26 May 2010 4:56AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Miller
My father-in-law, Walter Glen Miller, from Academy, South Dakota, enlisted 28 Jul 1942 (or 14 Jul 1942)at Ft Crook, Nebraska, was in the 345th Bomb Group, 499th Bomb Squadron ('Bats Out of Hell'). He was a radio gunner on B-25 Mitchell's. By his discharge papers he arrived in Australia 7 Aug 1944 (he always said he was stationed on New Guinea, and was shipped home from the South Pacific 16 Jan 1945 and arrived in the USA 4 Feb 1945 (on a hospital ship). It says in the discharge papers "Purple Heart GO 8 Hq 548 Gen Hosp. 3 Dec 44". He was discharged 21 Nov 1945.
He always told the story that he had been abourd a Liberty ship in Leyte Gulf, for about two weeks awaiting the Seabees to get their base completed. There was at least one Liberty ship next to them, it was hit by a kamikaze, and shrapnel from that ship hit the ship Walter was on wounding him and several others. (By a poem I found I wonder if it could have been the USS Nelson or the USS Waite, but by what I found they were damaged Dec 5, 1944 could his discharge papers be wrong about when he got the Purple Heart??) I am trying to find out what Liberty ship he was on, Can any one help me?
It would be nice if someone could tell me what plane and other crewmen he flew with, also.

Re: 345 Bomb Group 499 Bomb Squadron B-25 Radio Gunner wounded on Liberty ship in Leyte Gulf

Posted: 26 May 2010 1:49PM GMT
Classification: Query
It was not the USS Nelson. The Nelson was a US Navy destroyer and it spent its time in the Atlantic. It could be the SS Morrison R. Waite. It is a Liberty Ship. If you go to google,com and type in SS Morrison R. Waite. You will find info. It said the ship was hit by Jap planes 1-29-45 off Leyte and 41 wounded and 16 killed.

Re: 345 Bomb Group 499 Bomb Squadron B-25 Radio Gunner wounded on Liberty ship in Leyte Gulf

Posted: 26 May 2010 4:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Miller
Thank You for your reply. I have googled everything I could think of but never came up with anything.
Walter was wounded sometime on or before Dec 3, 1944 (When he recieved his Purple Heart) in Leyte Gulf on a Liberty ship damaged when the Liberty ship next to it was hit by a Kamikaze. Walter was hospitalized for about 3 months, by what I can tell.
In one site I found a listing of Liberty ships damaged in or around the Philippines and they have a
Liberty ship, Thomas Nelson damaged Nov 12, 1944 at the Philippines, by a Kamikaze, with 164 Army casaulties & 4 AG,
others damaged on that same day by Kamikaze were:
Alexander Majors - 2 crew hurt or killed
Jeremiah M Daily - 4 crew; 2 AG; 100 Army
Leonides Merritt - 1 crew; 1 AG
Morrison R Waite - 21 Army
Carlos Carrillo - AG wounded
William Coulter - none

If I could find which ships were transporting men of the 345th Bomb Group, 499the Bomb Squadron, I could maybe figure which ship he was on. Unfortunately I don't know the exact date he was wounded, just that he got the Purple Heart on Dec 3, 1944 at: GO 8 Hq 548 Gen. Hospital (where ever that was)

Re: 345 Bomb Group 499 Bomb Squadron B-25 Radio Gunner wounded on Liberty ship in Leyte Gulf

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 10:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 28 Mar 2013 10:10PM GMT
The 345th was being transported to Leyte aboard two liberty ships, The SS Morrison R Waite and the SS Thomas Nelson. Both ships were hit by Kamikaze attacks while at anchor in Dulag Harbor. Both ships were hit on November 12th 1944.

Accounts of these attacks can be found in two books. "Warpath Across the Pacific" by Lawrence J. Hickey and "Warpath - A story of the 345th Bombardment Group "The Air Apaches" In World War II" which is available as a reproduction of what I would call a yearbook or memories book and written by members of the 345th.

Re: 345 Bomb Group 499 Bomb Squadron B-25 Radio Gunner wounded on Liberty ship in Leyte Gulf

Posted: 29 Mar 2013 4:05AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Miller
By any chance were you with the 345 Bomb Group? If so did you know 'Sauce' Walter G Miller he was a radio operator.

Re: 345 Bomb Group 499 Bomb Squadron B-25 Radio Gunner wounded on Liberty ship in Leyte Gulf

Posted: 29 Mar 2013 9:37AM GMT
Classification: Query
Departure Date: January 16, 1945
Departure Location: Humboldt Bay, New Guinea
Troop Ship: USAT Willard A. Holbrook
Arrival Date: February 4, 1945
Arrival Location: San Francisco Port of Embarkation

Good Luck with your quest.

Richard V. Horrell

Re: 345 Bomb Group 499 Bomb Squadron B-25 Radio Gunner wounded on Liberty ship in Leyte Gulf

Posted: 31 Mar 2013 5:48PM GMT
Classification: Query
My Father was a crew member aboard the SS Thomas Nelson when it was attacked in Dulag Harbor. He knew some of the 345th guys but he's not around to ask any more.

Re: 345 Bomb Group 499 Bomb Squadron B-25 Radio Gunner wounded on Liberty ship in Leyte Gulf

Posted: 11 Nov 2013 6:48PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 11 Nov 2013 6:51PM GMT
My Father was a member of the 345th, 501st squadron and was wounded during the kamikaze raid on the the Thomas Nelson on Nov. 12, 1944. I was able to find a scanned ship's report that detailed the events and listed injured, missing, and soldiers that lost their lives. I found your father-in-laws name among those listed as "unaccounted for" at the time of the report. So yes he was aboard the Thomas Nelson. If you would like more information or a copy of the report, just let me know.

Re: 345 Bomb Group 499 Bomb Squadron B-25 Radio Gunner wounded on Liberty ship in Leyte Gulf

Posted: 12 Nov 2013 1:02AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Miller
I would love a copy of the info
Thank you so very much my family will be so excited to know there is more info out there. Walter was wounded, had part of his arm cut off, was so lucky to have is arm, but had no feeling in his little finger. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
My email is
elly dot miller at gmail dot com
Please put Walter G Miller WW2 in subject line
Ellen Krull Miller

Re: 345 Bomb Group 499 Bomb Squadron B-25 Radio Gunner wounded on Liberty ship in Leyte Gulf

Posted: 17 Nov 2013 10:27PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Miller
Thank you so very much for the info you shared
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