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First Name: Raymond

Last Name: Millener

Birthplace: Williamsport, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: PA
Middle Name: Davis

Date of Birth: 13 April 1908

Date of Death: 07 December 1944

Rank: Colonel

Years Served:
Raymond Davis Millener

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1930

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Raymond Davis Millener
Colonel, U.S. Army

Upon his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy with the Class of 1930, Raymond Davis Millener was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and assigned to the 28th Infantry Regiment at Fort Niagara, NY.

In the summer of 1932, he was ordered to Panama where he served until 1935. Part of this tour was spent with the Infantry at Fort Davis, and part as Assistant Provost Marshal of the Atlantic Sector with station at Fort De Lesseps. Upon his return to the United States in June 1935, Lt. Millener attended the Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA, graduating in 1936. He was then assigned to the Sorbonne in Paris during 1936-37 to study French prior to serving a tour as a language instructor at West Point. Lt. Millener reported to the Academy in August 1937 to assume duties as an instructor in the Department of Modern Languages.

In June 1941, now-Captain Millener was assigned to duty with the Second Infantry Division at Fort Sam Houston, TX. He commanded the 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry, during the Louisiana Maneuvers with outstanding success. In February 1942, he was ordered to the Command and General Staff School as a student and, after graduation in May, he was assigned to the 356th Infantry Regiment, then being activated at Camp Carson, CO. There he was promoted to Major.

In December of 1942, MAJ Millener was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. He then served as Assistant Chief of Staff, 0-3, until late June 1944. He played a large role in planning the Division’s participation in the Normandy invasion as D-Day approached. Now a Lieutenant Colonel, Millener was scheduled to go into Normandy by glider, but at the last minute the available glider lift was reduced to the extent that he was directed to come in with his section by water on D-Day+1. LTC Millener appealed this decision, requesting that he be allowed to go in by parachute, although he had never received any special parachute training. His plea caused the Division Commander to reluctantly approve the unique request. As a result, LTC Millener's first parachute jump was into the combat of D-Day at Normandy.

On D-Day, 6 June 1944, then-Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Davis Millener was serving as Operations Officer, 101st Airborne Division, First U.S. Army.

On that day, LTC Millener’s unit was in action against German forces at Normandy, France when he and his men were dropped 15 miles from the assigned drop zone. LTC Millener assembled all the forces in the immediate vicinity and started toward the designated assembly area to join the main force. En route, the party encountered heavy German resistance. Despite the intense German fire, LTC Millener repeatedly exposed himself while leading his men. Inspired by LTC Millener's bravery and leadership, his small force successfully assaulted 2 machine gun positions and destroyed 2 enemy tanks and 2 enemy half-track vehicles. LTC Millener’s superior leadership, courageous actions and extraordinary heroism that day earned him the U.S. Army's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.

LTC Millener’s second combat jump was made near Zon, Holland, in Operation Market Garden, from a plane that had been struck by flak and was burning fiercely. LTC Millener was with the Division during the 72 days in which it was in contact with the enemy and under continuous shell fire from the high ground opposite its position in the flat dike country.

The long strain of more than one year of continuous hard work, little sleep, heavy pressure and combat, finally took its toll. LTC Millener's health broke and he died at Moumelon-le-Grande in France on 7 December 1944. The entire Division was stunned to learn of his death.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Cross
Legion of Merit
Purple Heart
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Arrowhead Pin, 2 Bronze Stars
World War II Victory Medal
Croix de Guerre with Palm (France)
Presidential Unit Citation
Combat Infantryman Badge
Parachutist Badge with 2 Combat Jump Stars

Distinguished Service Cross Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Lieutenant Colonel (General Staff Corps) Raymond Davis Millener (ASN: 0-18140), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Operations Officer, 101st Airborne Division, in action against enemy forces on 6 June 1944, in France. Lieutenant Colonel Millener and his men were dropped 15 miles from the appointed drop zone. He assembled all the forces in the immediate vicinity and started toward the designated assembly area to join the main force. En route, the party encountered heavy enemy resistance. Despite the intense enemy fire, Lieutenant Colonel Millener repeatedly exposed himself in leading his men. Inspired by Lieutenant Colonel Millener's personal bravery and leadership, his small force successfully assaulted two machine gun positions and destroyed two enemy tanks and two enemy half-track vehicles. The gallantry and superior leadership displayed by Lieutenant Colonel Millener exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 101st Airborne Division, and the United States Army.

Headquarters, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 31 (July 1, 1944)

Death and Burial

Colonel Raymond Davis Millener died a non-combat death while serving on duty with the 101st Airborne Division on 7 December 1944 at Mourmelon-le-Grand, Departement de la Marne, Champagne-Ardenne, France. He is buried at the Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial in Epinal, Departement des Vosges, Lorraine, France, in Plot A, Row 14, Grave 41.


Honoree ID: 70882   Created by: MHOH




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