Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lieutenant J.D. Miller and Signalman Dermott Joseph Green


Lieutenant J.D. Miller

John David Miller was born in 1917, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals as a Signalman in 1935, and died in Australia in 1945. He left behind his wife, Mary Jean Dorothie Miller (nee Beach) and his parents, Clifford and Jeanne Miller. All were from Kingston, Ontario.
On 1 July 1944 then Lieutenant (Lt) Miller was detached from No. 1 Special Wireless Station, Leitrim, Ontario to No.1 (Canadian) Special Wireless Group (1CSWG). He, along with Captain (Capt) HL Hall, Capt RE March, and Lt. JH Legere were the first four members of the Group.
On 18 April 1945, after months of training and travel, he arrived with 1CSWG at McMillan's Road Camp, Northern Territory (NT), Australia. The NT Force Band played the troops into the camp.
On 16 September 1945, while serving as the Technical Maintenance Officer and Sports Officer for 1CSWG, Lt Miller was admitted to hospital. There he was placed on the dangerously ill list and, that evening, died of what was later diagnosed as acute encephalitis.
On 18 September 1945 he was buried in the grave No GD 3 in the Adelaide River War Cemetery. His funeral party was composed of eight members of the Technical Maintenance Section as bearers; eight Unit officers as pall bearers; the Chief Signal Officer (CSO) of the NT Force, a member of the CSO Staff; two buglers, two drummers, and a firing party of approximately 40 Unit personnel. Chaplain Clayden, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), conducted the service. 

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Writing in the November 1999 issue of the Maple Leaf, Lt Paul Doucette, a Public Affairs Officer then with the Australian based Canadian Contingent of the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET) wrote.

Remembering the One

CAMP TWO CAN DO, Darwin, Australia—In 1945, near the end of the Second World War, the South Pacific was a nasty place for Canadian Lieutenant John Miller, who contracted encephalitis and died September 16, 1945 while serving in Northern Australia with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (RCCS). The 28-year-old Kingston, Ont., resident was deployed on a classified mission to the Darwin area with the RCCS Number One Special Wireless Group. The details of the squad’s South Pacific duties are not clear, but it is known the group was later sent to East Timor to help with the surrender of the Japanese. As a tribute to Lt Miller, the only Canadian soldier buried at the Adelaide River War Cemetery, south of Darwin, CF members deployed to northern Australia to provide support for the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET) held a memorial ceremony November 8. “It was great way to help mark this year’s Remembrance Day,” said Chief Warrant Officer Eric Inglis, who organized the special service as part of the Canadian Airlift Task Force’s Remembrance Day ceremonies. “It was a special experience for all of us who were there.”
Though little else is known about him at this time, records indicate that another member of 1CSWG, Signalman Dermott Joseph Green, age 26, was drowned while surfing at Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia on 3 March 1945. He is buried in Woombye-Palwoods Military Cemetery. 

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