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D: 2019-08-17
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B: 1943-04-13
D: 2019-08-10
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D: 2019-08-08
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B: 1927-12-07
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B: 1958-04-29
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B: 1939-06-15
D: 2019-07-31
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B: 1934-03-26
D: 2019-07-31
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B: 1939-07-01
D: 2019-07-24
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11824 Reisterstown Road
Reisterstown, MD 21136
Phone: 410-833-1414
Fax: 410-833-1328
Robert Miller
In Memory of
Robert William
1924 - 2019
Memorial Candle Tribute From
Eline Funeral Home
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Life Story for Robert William Miller

Robert William  Miller

Sergeant Major Robert William Miller, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) died February 4, 2019 of natural causes. He was 94 years of age. Born September 2, 1924 in Columbus, Indiana, he was the second oldest child and oldest son of Richard and Eunice Miller. Bob had six brothers and sisters and they all grew up amongst very modest means on a farm outside of Indianapolis, IN.
His father died when he was nine years old during the Great Depression. To support his mother and six siblings, he dropped out of high school at age 16 in 1940 and went to work for the Deluca Cartage Company of Indianapolis, IN, loading trucks. He then secured a chauffeur driver’s license and became a truck driver for the company. After Pearl Harbor Day December 7, 1941, he convinced his mother that he could support the family better if he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17 but he needed his mother’s permission. She consented and signed the enlistment papers for Bob and he joined the Marine Corps as a Private on June 15, 1942.
He then took his first long distance train ride in his life to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, CA. He completed Marine basic training and was shipped out on a troop ship with the 1st Marine Division to fight the Japanese on the island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. Following the Battle of Guadalcanal, Bob and the 1st Marine Division were sent to Australia for rest and refit before embarking in 1943 for the battles for Eastern New Guinea and New Britain. He then was involved in the battle for Peleiu in 1944 which was one of the bloodiest battles of World War II for the 1st Marine Division. His final combat battle in WW II was for the island of Okinawa. During these 1St Marine Division battles, Bob was wounded several times and received three Purple Hearts.
After the Battle of Okinawa, it was announced that any 1st Marine Division Marine with 2 or more Purple Hearts could go home. Bob’s CO tried to persuade him to stay and prepare for the invasion of Japan by offering him a medal and promotion but Bob decided to go home to his family and was on leave in Indiana when WWII ended.
When his leave in 1945 ended, Bob and other members of the 1st Marine Division were sent to Northern China after the surrender of Japan with the primary mission of repatriating the more than 650,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians still located there. The 1st Marine Division was in the midst of the Chinese Civil War raging then and the Division assumed the role of guarding supply trains, bridges and depots to keep food and coal moving into the Chinese cities. The Marines were constantly under fire from the soldiers of the Chinese Communist People’s Liberation Army who sought to ambush and raid the Marine-guarded railways and supply depots.
After his China tour, Bob was assigned to Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1948. One day while visiting the HQ building, he saw a notice for a military driver with a chauffeur’s license. Since he still had his chauffeur license from his pre-Marine days, he applied for the job. When he interviewed for the job, it turned out to be for a driver for the Admiral who was the Commanding Officer of NAS Lakehurst who knew Bob from their South Pacific WWII days. The tall good-looking Marine with three Purple Hearts was immediately hired. Bob then spent the next two years driving the Admiral and his wife around, often on trips to New York City where Bob on his personal time would go to see shows and the sights of the big city.
In 1950, the Korean War broke out and Bob was ordered back to combat with the 1St Marine Division and shipped out to Korea where he then saw combat action at Inchon, Seoul and the Chosin Reservoir. After his combat tour in Korea, Bob was then assigned to the Marine Security Detachment at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israel. There he met the beautiful Fortunee Antoinette Broudo (known to everyone as “Toni”) and they were married on July 26, 1952 in the Latin Church of Terra Lanta College in Jerusalem followed by a wedding reception at the U.S. Consulate.
Bob and Toni then returned to the United States where Bob was assigned as a Marine Recruiter in Chelsea, MA. Following a tour of duty at Camp Lejeune, NC, Bob was overseas on a Mediterranean Naval cruise when his first child, Robin, was born in 1956 followed in 1958 by his son Gregory. The family then went to Spain where Bob served with the Marine Detachment at Naval Station Rota, Spain. The family then returned to Camp Lejeune for another tour of duty there. Bob was then assigned to Norfolk, VA Naval Base, serving with the Marine Detachment aboard the carrier USS America (CV-66) in 1965. He was then assigned to Naval Air Station, Beaufort, SC which tour of duty was interrupted by Bob’s receiving orders to go to Vietnam in 1968. Bob then moved his family to Baltimore, MD to be close to family in case he was killed in action and Bob then served two consecutive one year tours in Vietnam with the 1st Marine Division.
As a Command Sergeant Major in Vietnam, he led his brigade in the 1968 Tet Offensive where they were involved in heavy fighting in the city of Hue coming to the rescue of trapped American military units in that city. Bob then returned from Vietnam at the end of 1969 and served one more tour at Marine Headquarters, Quantico, VA before retiring from the Marine Corps in 1972 at age 47 with thirty years of service with the rank of Sergeant Major.
During his Marine Corps career, Bob received the following medals, commendations, badges and ribbons: three Purple Hearts, nine Good Conduct Medals, five Asiatic-Pacific Medals, American Theatre Medal, China Service Medal, WWII Victory Medal, three National Defense Service Medals, Korean Service Medal, UN Korean Service Medal, two Vietnam Service Medals, two Vietnam Campaign Medals, the Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation, Gallantry Cross with Palm, Combat Action Ribbon, .45 Caliber Pistol Expert Badge, Rifle Expert Badge and four Presidential Unit Citations. He was a member of the Marine Corps .45 Caliber Pistol Team and a member of a team that won the Marine Corps Wirgman Trophy in 1950 for expert team rifle marksmanship.
After his retirement from the Marine Corps in 1972, Bob joined the Security Department of the Federal Reserve Bank in Baltimore where he was responsible for safeguarding millions of dollars in monies, government bonds and Treasury bills. He retired from that job in 1992 at age 68 to enjoy life, his wife, his family and his three grandsons.
Bob was pre-deceased in life by his wife of 65 years, Toni, and his son, Gregory Michael, and his six brothers and sisters Margaret, Charles, Evelyn, June, Joanne and Hazel. He is survived by his daughter Robin Mary Smith and his son-in-law Patrick Charles Smith, his three grandsons (Kevin Patrick Smith and his wife Graciela, Christopher Robert William Smith and his wife Valerie and Michael Riley Smith) and his great grandson Riley Connor Smith.
Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors rendered at a future date. Our country has lost another outstanding member of the Greatest Generation.
Duty, Honor, Country-Semper Fi!


US Marine Corps