Miller, Charles S. (Camp Hood)

Charles S. Miller 1Charles S. Miller

Biography: Charles Sumner Miller was born on April 16, 1886. His family moved to Jennings, Louisiana, when he was six. He attended Louisiana State University, graduating in 1909 with a BA and in 1910 with a Bachelor of Laws. He commanded the corps of military cadets while at LSU and served as a lieutenant and captain of cavalry in the Louisiana National Guard from 1909 to 1916.

Service Time: Charles entered World War I as an infantry reserve major and was discharged in 1920 to accept a commission as a Regular Army captain. Sometime in the 1930’s, he attended the United States Cavalry School which was at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and eventually became a faculty member. In April, 1935, he was appointed Secretary-Treasurer of the United States Cavalry Association as well as editor of the Cavalry Journal.

Charles, now a colonel, was appointed to the newly formed Tank Destroyer Center at Camp Hood, Texas, in 1942. He served as G4 and Chief of Staff and was instrumental in the development of the tank destroyer concept, which he viewed as an extension of the traditional cavalry role of mobility fully exploited to seek, strike and destroy the enemy. The TD force had grown to 70, 000 men by the time he left to join the Pacific Section, Operations Division of the War Department General Staff.

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In the summer of 1943, he was sent to visit the force invading New Georgia. When the Intelligence Commander was wounded, he took over and handled the assignment while actively participating in the assault landing. Charles later served as Commander of the Services of Supply, South Pacific Area and as Chief of Staff and Commander of Special Troops, GHQ, U.S. Army Forces Pacific.

In 1946, Charles was acting Chief of the UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) in Austria.  Their mission began in the summer of 1945 with the dispatch of teams of UNRRA workers to assist the occupying Military Governments in the administration of displaced persons camps. Zone Directors in the French, British, and United States Zones supervised this camp management work under the close control of military officials. A Central Headquarters was formally established in Vienna by an agreement dated 26 November, 1945.

The photo below, left, shows Charles meeting with a young girl and her mother who were living in a displaced persons camp.  The girl is giving him a picture of herself.  The small family will emigrate to the U.S. at some point because they have relatives in there.  The second photo shows Charles surrounded by some Austrians in native dress.

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Charles passed away on August 24, 1967, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.