Carleton Pierce Miller, Jr.
Killed In Action - Body Not Recovered
|SYNOPSIS: Lt.JG Carleton P. Miller was a Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) attached to
Fighter Squadron 21 onboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CVA-61). On January 6,
1971, he launched with his pilot, Lt. Rinne, in their F4J Phantom fighter aircraft for a
night mission over North Vietnam. They returned to the ship about 4 a.m. for a radar controlled approach to landing.
The Ranger was located in the Gulf of Tonkin approximately 70 miles east of the North Vietnamese city of Ron. At approximately 1 mile astern of the carrier, Rinne and Miller transitioned from the radar controlled approach to a visual approach. The aircraft hit the deck a bit high and "boltered" (missed catching an arresting wire). In this instance, the aircraft touched down farther forward on the deck than usual, and its nose began to roll off the forward edge of the deck. Lt. Rinne called for ejection. Men working on the deck definitely saw both parachutes enter the water ahead of the ship.
Lt. Rinne was rescued by the Ranger's helicopter within a short time. Despite an exten- sive search by other helicopters and destroyers, they were unable to find any trace of Lt.JG Miller.
Carleton Miller is listed among the missing because his remains were never found to send home to the country he served. He died a tragically ironic death in the midst of war. But, for his family, the case seems clear that he died on that day. The fact that they have no body to bury with honor is not of great significance.
For other who are missing, however, the evidence leads not to death, but to survival.