Miller West Beals voluntarily enlisted in the United States Navy and was inducted on April 4, 1944. At the time he was 24 years old, married and a father of two. He had been working as an auto mechanic prior to his enlistment.
Upon completion of his basic training at Camp Peary in Virginia, Miller Beals was shipped out to Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. There, on July 27, 1944, Seaman 2nd Class Beals reported was assigned to the USS Bush along with 20 other men whose last name began with "B". On August 12, 1944, two days after his 25th birthday, Miller crossed the equator and was transformed (as is Navy custom) from a Polywog to a Shellback.
Sometime after his reporting aboard ship, Miller Beals was assigned to the Engineering Division, as his rating was changed to Fireman 2nd Class.
|On April 6, 1945 Miller was lost with his ship. He is believed to have survived the three hits on the ship by Japanese kamikaze planes, but not his time in the water. His surviving children report an unknown shipmate visited with Miller's family after the sinking. The shipmate told the family he had he had seen Miller in the water but their life boat was full. Miller said he could swim to the next one, but he didn't make it.|
Miller and Daisy Beals, with daughters Peggy (left) and Carol (right) - 1944
The Purple Heart given to the Beals family is also shown.
Upon news of his death, his widow penned the following poem that was published in
a local newspaper:
Where there is no more pain and war.
And I'll be with you soon, my dear,
And we will part no more.
They said you lost your life, my dear,
In the letter you ask your Buddy to write,
And he said in battles you were so brave,
Darling this is so hard to bear,
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