Private James W. Miller was a Private in Company E, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division. He was a "replacement" in Sergeant Denver "Bull" Randlemens unit, he was very good friends with Lester Hashey and Private Antonio Garcia. The night before "Operation Market Garden" took place, he was battered because he wore the Presidential unit citation ribon, given to the regiment during the battle on June 6th, which he missed but is worn by any member of the unit while serving with that. Those who were with the unit during the action for which it is awarded are permi to wear it permanently.
Operation Market Garden
On September 20th, 1944, Easy Company took part in Operation Market Garden. He and his fellow platoon members stuck with their Sergeant, Bull Randlemen during the assault. Randleman was wounded and cut off from the rest of them so Hashey, Garcia and Miller continued to fight as best they could. While hiding behind a bush he witnessed a fellow paratrooper who was good friends with Hoobler and Webster get killed, PFC Robert Van Klinken. After Van Klinkens death, he and the rest of the platoon fell back. While falling back to the lines he hid in a ditch and was separated from Hashey and Garcia. Towards the end of the battle while everyone was retreating he was struck in the head by rifle fire. Hashey and Garcia returned looking for him, he had been killed instantly.
Effect on Men
His death haunted Hashey well for the remainder of the war up until Hashey was WIA during the Battle of the Bulge.
- Of the four replacements, Edward "Babe" Heffron, Lester Hashey and Antonio C. "Tony" Garcia, Miller is the only one to be killed.