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Honoring Staff Sgt. Milton Miller

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The National WWII Museum would like to acknowledge and honor the contributions and sacrifices of Jewish Americans during World War II.

The Jewish American experience during World War II was unique. While most Americans saw the defeat of the Japanese as the primary goal of the war, many Jewish American men and women saw the war in a different light. The defeat of Fascism (and in turn the defeat of Hitler) was the primary goal of World War II as they saw it.

Over 500,000 Jewish men and women served in the armed forces. Men saw combat in both the Pacific and European Theaters of War and women served in the WAVES, WACs, WASPS and as nurses overseas. While serving, many Jewish American soldiers faced singular challenges ranging from anti-Semitism to non-kosher meals. Despite these and other challenges, Jewish American servicemen received more than 52,000 awards, including three Medals of Honor.

The collection at The National WWII Museum contains items that belonged to a young Jewish American soldier, Staff Sgt. Milton Miller. Milton Miller was born on November 28, 1918 in Bridgeport, CT. After graduating from the Roosevelt Aviation School in Mineola, Long Island, Miller enlisted in the Army Air Corps and trained at Savannah Army Air Base in Savannah, Georgia. Miller served in the Pacific Theater, Queensland, Australia as part of the “Grim Reapers.” He was killed in action when his plane went down on February 1, 1944.

Gift of Bernice Freedman, 2011.131, Click on images for a larger view.

During the War, the Home Front often proved a space of stark contrasts for Jewish Americans.  While worrying over the fate of relatives living in Europe, many Jewish Americans faced anti-Semitic discrimination at home.  Despite these hardships, thousands of Jewish Americans served their country on the Home Front by working and volunteering in vital war industries and organizations that supported American servicemen overseas.

Please join The National WWII Museum as it salutes the bravery and sacrifice of Jewish Americans during World War II.

Posted by Laura Sparaco, K-12 Curriculum Coordinator at The National WWII Museum.

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