Mar 7

Korean War Era Night Fighter Training

Thursday, March 7, 2019 12:01 AM

By

Vice Admiral Gerald E. Miller, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Vice Admiral Gerald E. Miller, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

 

Gerald E. Miller enlisted in the Navy in 1936 and served in the fleet for two years before getting an appointment to the Naval Academy, from which he was graduated in late 1941. He then spent two years of wartime duty in the light cruiser USS Richmond (CL-9) before he could go to flight training. Throughout his aviation experiences, Admiral Miller placed particular emphasis on nighttime flight operations. During the Korean War, he served on the staff of Rear Admiral E. C. Ewen, Commander Task Force 77, and then commanded a fighter squadron. During a mid-1950s tour in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Admiral Miller was instrumental in the installation of computers and reorganizing the distribution of enlisted personnel. After commanding a carrier air group, he was sent to Omaha, Nebraska, to work with the Air Force in joint strategic target planning. In the early 1960s, he commanded the ammunition ship USS Wrangell (AE-12) and the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42).

In this excerpt, Admiral Miller describes the dangers and limitations faced by those, like himself, who were pioneering the use of jets in night fighter training during the Korean War.

 

U.S. Navy F6F Hellcat fighter aircraft.

U.S. Navy F6F Hellcat fighter aircraft.

 

To read more about the Naval Institute Oral History Program, go to https://www.usni.org/heritage/oral-history-catalog.