Merlin Eugene Miller
A review was completed of the HQ 2nd Brigade, 25th Division, Operations Report Lessons Learned (OR-LL), After Actions Report (AAR) for Operation Toan-Thang II, 10 March 1969.
This report and unit daily staff journals show the day to day operations of Company B during the month of September, when Merlin was assigned to the Company after his arrival in Vietnam. He participated in quite a few air combat assaults to complete multiple reconnaissance in force (RIF) actions, seeking out the Viet Cong in the area. You can see the other entries on the Battalion's website, blue link above.
An entry for 29 SEP 68 reads:
B Co. KIA: Pfc. Merlin E. Miller (18) of Guttenberg, IA perished in Tay Ninh Province.
"2-12 Inf: Bn (-) NL(Night Location) located vicinity XT508258. Co A remained In Cu Chi Base Camp. Co C NL loc vic XT501195. Co A cdt (conduct) move fm Cu Chi Base Camp to the Bn (-) NL, cdt local security RIF (Recon in Force) vic of their NL.
Co B at 0845H cdt airmobile combat assaults fm their NL to LZ (Landing Zone) vic XT603295.
Co D at 0924H cdt airmobile combat assaults fm their NL to LZ vic XT603295.
Co C cdt RIF vic XT495196, XT493207, XT494209, XT500207, XT507207, XT508200. At 1010H supporting gunship, vic XT619290, received SA (small arms) fire fm an unknown number of VC, neg casualties. Returned fire with AW (Automatic Weapons and CS (tear gas), VC losses unknown.
At 1245H Co C, vic XT502208, apprehended detainee, who was turned over to ARVN control.
At 1742H Co B vic XT579301, sustained 1 US (NDB), from an unidentified flying object that struck him."
At the time, local area papers first reported the incident similar to an article like:
Iowa GI Dies.
Washington (AP) - The death in Vietnam of Army Pfc. Merlin E. Miller of Guttenberg, Iowa, has been announced by the Defense Department. The department said Pfc. Miller's death did not result from hostile action but gave no details. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter H. Miller of rural Guttenberg.
The Des Moines Register reported the following on Saturday, 05 October 1968, Page 6:
"GUTTENBERG, IA - Army Pfc. Merlin E. Miller, 18, of Guttenberg was killed Sept. 29 in Vietnam. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter H. Miller of rural Guttenberg, have been notified. Mrs. Miller said a Defense Department telegram said Private Miller was killed at when he was struck by the tail roter of the helicopter after departing it in a landing zone during a combat assault.
Private Miller was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry, stationed near Saigon. He joined the Army on Mar. 25 this year and had been in Vietnam since Aug. 28.
He was a 1967 graduate of Guttenberg Community High School. Survivors besides his parents include five brothers and six sisters."
Merlin, the son of Edith Golden Ferguson Miller (1927-1998) and Walter W. Miller (1926-2007) graduated from high school in 1967. His photo above was in his high school year book.
In addition to his parents, Merlina was survived by his 11 siblings as noted on his parents marker and he was predeceased by his brother Jerry Lee Miller (1948-1949).
Merlin was buried in the family plot at Guttenberg Cemetery, Guttenberg, Clayton County Iowa.
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