Who was Willard Miller?

Introduction

Willard Dwight Miller (05 June 1877 to 09 February 1959) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of America’s highest military decoration – the Medal of Honour – for his actions in the Spanish-American War.

Willard D. Miller.

Background

Willard Miller was born in Maitland, Nova Scotia on 05 June 1877. He enlisted in the US Navy from the state of Massachusetts and served during the Spanish-American War as a crew member of the gunboat USS Nashville (PG-7). On 11 May 1898, he took part in a small boat operation that cut the underwater telegraph cable off Cienfuegos, Cuba, and received the Medal of Honour for his conduct during the action (the Battle of Cienfuegos).

Miller’s younger brother, Harry Herbert Miller, was also awarded the Medal of Honor for the same action, making the two men one of only eight pairs of brothers to be awarded the medal.

Miller left the Navy in 1906 and later served in the US Lighthouse Service.

He died on 19 February 1959, at age 81 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington County, Virginia. His grave can be found in Section 46, Lot 15.

Medal of Honour Citation

Seaman Miller’s official Medal of Honour citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Nashville during the operation of cutting the cable leading from Cienfuegos, Cuba, May 11, 1898. Facing the heavy fire of the enemy, Miller displayed extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout this action.

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