In remembrance of ATC William Richard “Dick” Miller who served in VP-6 from 1948 to 1951
Dick Miller, passed away July 15th 2004 in Camarillo, CA.
ATC William Richard “Dick” Miller
William R. "Dick" Miller, 78, of Camarillo passed away at his home on July 15, 2004, after a brief battle with lung cancer.
Dick was born in South Bend,.lnd., on Sept. 14, 1925, to the late John E. and Irene Miller. He was preceded in death by his brother, Jack, and his sister Joanne Miller Mitchell.
After the death of his parents, he was raised at the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home in Knightstown, Ind., where he graduated ftom high school: He joined the Navy with his brother, Jack, in January 1943, serving in the South Pacific during World War II and then in Korea before retiring in 1962 after 20 years of service. He immediately went to work as a civil servant at Point Mugu and retired from the government in 1984.
He then launched his third career as' a consultant for a company based in Buffalo, N.Y. During his long career, he traveled throughout the world.and around the country. He was a 42-year resident of Ventura County.
He is survived by his wife, Bonita; sons, William R. "Rick" Miller II and his wife, Rene, of Owatonna, Minn., John E. Miller and his wife, Diane, of Camarillo, Charles M. Miller and his wife, Deborah, of Gresham, Ore., and Thomas R. Miller and his wife, Tracy, of Sacramento; daughters, Deborah Miller and her husband, Michael Wallensack, of Las Vegas, Nev., and Patricia L. Gucciardo and'her husband, James, .of Camarillo; sister Audrey Miller Batz and her husband, Charles, of Glendale, Ariz.; 11 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Dick was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Visitation will be from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 19, at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park chapel, to be followed immediately by a celebration of his life and graveside services. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to hospice. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Conejo Mountain Memorial Park and Funeral Home, 2052 Howard Road, Camarillo.
Aviation Electronicsman Miller was a real veteran of VP6 having been in the 48 Adak,'49 Kodiak, 1950 Guam Sqdn deployment that moved to Japan when the Korean War broke out.
Aviation Tech. (ATAN) Ron Tinsley says Miller would always be agreeable in helping him to learn about his job. Charles Pomroy describes Dick as being among the most liked men in VP6. I agree.
Dick acquired a nick-name when Rudy Ohnersorgen said, "Miller, you play volley ball like my mother."
I recently called and said "hello, Mother." Dick replied, it's okay to call me Mother but don't call me Ma.
Going to miss you, Richard.
Heart felt sympathy to Bonnie and family.
Jack Masters, AL
Dick Miller (waving the hat) during VP-6 deployment to Tachikawa, Japan 1950
"Mother" Miller was a fine man, very much admired by all. You Know he survived a mid-air collision during his Naval career. He was also aboard the aircraft that made a wheels-up landing at Atsugi. "They" say that when that aircraft came to a stop on the runway he was standing outside watching. He always told everyone,"Don't get in my way" in case of an emergency.
VP-6 William Richard
Several friends spoke at Dick's funeral and many wrote in a book about his "Dickie-isms." Here are a few:
When he wanted a drink - "It's five o'clock somewhere in the world"
If he knew you were right - "You can take that to the bank"
If you discovered something he already knew - "You broke the code"
When you asked him how he was - "I'm above ground and had a good bowel movement"
When something needed to be done or fixed - "Let's do an engineering study"
Playing bridge with friends - "The only lead that could possibly make a contract" and when the guys won - "That'll keep them from sucking eggs"
And always no matter what time dinner was - "Only peasants eat before eight"
He was a wonderful guy and a colorful character. I miss him terribly.
Bonnie Miller (Wife)
Just a note to the men that knew Dick Miller while he was in VP-6. Dick was my neighbor and friend for 27 years in Camarillo. No one loved the Navy more than he. He did accept me as his favorite Air Force puke. He was Uncle Dickie to my two sons and they will miss his usual saying of "Let me give you some life saving advice-do what I tell you or I will kill ya." That was Dickie. Best to all of you guys from a fellow veteran. Jim Jevens now of Sun City Grand, AZ Retired
Jim Jevens (Great friend)
It is my sad duty to report the death of my father, William Richard (Dick) Miller, Chief Petty Officer, United States Navy (RET.) Serial No. 627-92-62. DOB: 09-07-1925. Chief Miller lost his battle with cancer, and died in his sleep July 15th, 2004 at 1200 hours. Chief Miller was a proud member of VP-6 from 1948 - 1951.
The following is an excerpt from Chief Miller to me sharing some memories of his at OAT at NAS Opa Locka, FL, December, 1943. Take care and thank you for the wonderful web site. Chief Miller enjoyed it very much.
"Dickie" was a great man, a stalwart friend and father. I will miss him.
Charles Miller (Son)
December, 1943 Operational Aircrew Training
Naval Air Station, Opa Locka, Florida
About a dozen of we aerial gunnery graduates were put on a bus and driven to NAS Opa Locka. It was at this time that the "light" finally came on and the nuts and bolts of all the schooling for the last eight months burst forth.
I was assigned along with S1/C Thurman to become a Combat Air Crewman (CAC). This meant that we would be getting "flight pay," which is computed at 50% of your basic active duty pay. Our training was going to be in a TBM or TBF torpedo bomber . The only difference between the two was the TBF was manufactured by Grumman and the TBM by Martin aircraft companies.
We were introduced to Ensign C. B. Murphy with whom we would fly and train for the next 6 weeks. During this period, it was the first time I had carried on a conversation with a Commissioned Officer since joining the Navy. After 43 training flights of about 1 1/2 hours each, we finished our training in the middle of January, 1944. We were then supposed to be shipped out with a dozen other crews and be assigned to the USS-whatever, then join the fleet in the Pacific.
This did not happen because all of the pilots were transfered to wherever (censored), leaving we enlisted men high and dry. Seaman Thurman and I were promoted to Third Class Petty Officer (ARM3/C for me), and were transferred to Carrier Aircraft Service Unit Seven (CASU-7), NAS Sand Point, Seattle, Washington.
The first airplane I flew in was a TBF Torpedo Bomber (serial number 06299) flown by Ensign J. D. Haigler on 29 November, 1943 for 1.5 hours. Our training flights with Ens. Murphy totaled 58.9 hours.
My pay for this training period was $66.00 + $33.00 flight pay. $99 per month! I wondered what I was going to do with all this money.
William Richard "Dick" Miller VP-6 1948-1951
VP-6 ATC Dick Miller’s 75th birthday September 2000