MILLER, CARLETON PIERCE JR.
Name: Carleton Pierce Miller, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy Reserve
Unit: Fighter Squadron 21, USS RANGER (CVA-61)
Date of Birth: 23 June 1944
Home City of Record: Melrose MA
Date of Loss: 06 January 1971
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 175547N 1072842E (BK850370)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel In Incident: Lt.Rinne (pilot, rescued)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
SYNOPSIS: LTJG 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
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 extensive search by other helicopters and destroyers, they were
unable to find any trace of LTJG 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. Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports received relating to
Americans still prisoner, missing or otherwise unaccounted for in Indochina
have convinced experts that hundreds of men are still alive, waiting for
their country to rescue them. The notion that Americans are dying without
hope in the hands of a long-ago enemy belies the idea that we left Vietnam
with honor. It also signals that tens of thousands of lost lives were a
frivolous waste of our best men.